Bavaria's state premier says Conservative-Green coalition is many Germans' favoured option
Markus Söder, Bavaria's state premier and head of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU, has said that climate policy will be the economic growth engine of the next years, Thomas Vitzthum writes in Die Welt. At a digital convention of the CDU/CSU alliance's youth organisation JU, Söder said an economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic would have to be next year's political priority, arguing that "many people in the country feel that a coalition between the Conservatives and the Green Party is the right model for Germany”, adding that most would want it to be led by a conservative chancellor. He said climate action would be "as important as the coronavirus, but for a much longer time”, adding that the conservatives would have to step up their game in this respect to make sure they do not lose support. "For me, this will be a huge topic," Söder said. He argued that the German government needs to find "new answers" to the growing demands for more climate action and seek to establish "the latest technology" as a lever for combining emissions reduction with economic success. The Bavarian state premier stressed that the conservatives still had to decide who will become their candidate for chancellor in next year's election, adding that the CDU's next leader, who will likely be decided in January, would not automatically become the CDU/CSU alliance's candidate. "We have to agree on this together," said Söder, who so far has insisted that he would not seek to give up his position in Bavaria in favour of becoming German chancellor but who is widely seen as harbouring ambitions to do just that.
Chancellor Merkel will not seek re-election next year after having served at the helm of Germany's government since 2005. The currently three candidates for leadership of her CDU, Friedrich Merz, Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen, all could end up becoming the conservative bloc's candidate for succeeding Merkel, although a definite decision is not expected before spring next year. According to various polls made over the past months, a coalition between the CDU/CSU and the Greens at the moment appears to be the most likely constellation after the election, although different coalition models, for example between the Conservatives and the pro-business FDP or between the Greens, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the Left Party are also a possibility.