The Strategist

Dieselgate united German CDU and Greens

08/22/2017 - 14:53

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and other key advisers to Angela Merkel have already made it clear that they are open to an alliance with the Greens, in case the Christian Democrats do not get an absolute majority in the Bundestag elections.

The Greens and Christian Democrats are already allies in some national issues. This includes, among other things, a pro-European stance and a liberal emigration policy.

Angela Merkel has been co-operating with the Social Democrats since 2013. This year, her party bloc is exploring other options. The Christian Democrats may well open doors for the Green Party. After the last election, these two parties negotiated a possibility of creating a coalition, but then it did not get to the point.

Greens are quite experienced in running the country. They took an active part in government affairs with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder from 1998 to 2005. A representative of the Green Party, Joschka Fischer, was at that time the German Foreign Minister. In addition, the Greens are junior partners in nine of the sixteen regional governments of Germany. "Of course, we want to rule," says Andrea Lindlohr, a representative of the Green Party in Baden-Württemberg.

"It was hard to imagine an alliance of Christian democrats with the Greens before," says Elmer Brock, an ally of Merkel, who represents the CDU party in the European Parliament. According to him, the cooperation of the parties in the German regional governments is a good omen. "Now this is possible already at the federal level," Brock said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

"Diesel scandal" in Germany showed what kind of policies the German authorities will adhere to in the future if the Green Party becomes part of the government of Germany together with Angela Merkel’s the CDU.

For decades, the Daimler plant in the German city of Sindelfingen has been producing luxury Mercedes-Benz sedans and sports cars that were often equipped with high-tech diesel engines. Many of these vehicles may soon be banned. German authorities are serious about joining the fight for air purity. "The desire for innovative technologies in the German automotive industry is being launched in Baden-Württemberg," states legislator Thomas Henschel from the Green Party.

The process of abandoning diesel cars has already been launched. It was reported previously that most of the largest cities in Germany want to abandon diesel cars. According to a survey of German newspaper Handelsblatt, nine megacities, including Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg, are ready to say no to the "polluting atmosphere" of the car industry.

Only Dresden, Wuppertal, and Dortmund are ready to protect the diesel engine, writes Handelsblatt. Hanover, Dusseldorf and Münster have not yet decided on the answer. The government of the Federal State of Stuttgart is planning to introduce a ban on old diesel cars from the beginning of next year.

Volkswagen itself has admitted the fact that the car industry needs cleaning and rethinking. The German concern has already converted 4.7 million diesel cars around the world, VW’s Head Matthias Müller recently told at a general meeting in Hanover.

In September 2015, Volkswagen confessed in installing a special software that understated data on emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere. The diesel scandal has affected more than 11 million cars.