31 Jul 2019, 13:55
Julian Wettengel

Climate cabinet deal on 20 Sep would show grand coalition can deliver – state sec

Tagesspiegel Background

An agreement on key climate action proposals in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s climate cabinet meeting on 20 September would be proof that the grand coalition is still capable of acting, Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary in the environment ministry and member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), told Tagesspiegel Background. “Then, [the SPD] has good reasons to remain part of the government in an important year, 2020, when Germany holds the presidency of the Council of the EU,” Flasbarth said. If not, “I would lack sound arguments to campaign for a continuation of the [grand coalition] government ahead of the decisive SPD party congress in December.”

Germany’s grand coalition government is becoming increasingly fragile as election losses have shown that ever more voters are turning away from the established forces in the political centre. Both the SPD and Merkel’s conservative alliance have said they want to assess the work of the grand coalition by the end of the year, roughly the half-time of the current legislative period, and the Social Democrats have made climate a key issue for their verdict.

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