- RGR = Red, Green Red i.e. a coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and the Left
- BR (GroKo) = Black Red (die Große Koalition) i.e. a coalition of Germany’s two biggest parties, the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats
Last week our current Governing Mayor, Franziska Giffey (SPD), who plagiarised both her masters and doctorate and thus has a proven history of dishonesty claimed that the Greens and the Left were unreliable partners so she would be going into coalition talks with the CDU instead. She said talks with her current partners had broken down because the Greens refused to confirm they would abide by any coalition agreements and the Left as a political party is too divided (whereas this is the case nationally, it does not seem to be the case with the Left here in Berlin). Both the Greens and the Left found out about this development from the media. They believed that talks had been going well. Giffey is accused of being economical with the truth (telling lies). She has now burned all her bridges which means if the coalition talks with the CDU fail, she will have to step down as SPD leader as neither the Left nor the Greens trust her any more.
The truth is Franziska always wanted to be in partnership with the CDU. She said this at the previous election. The Greens have become too powerful. They have almost the same number of votes as the SPD so to remain in coalition with them would mean Franziska would have to listen to Bettina. No more big sister, little sister. Both women seem to be quite dominant and forceful personalities (look at how Bettina has now manoeuvred to take over Silke Gebel’s position as Green Parliamentary Leader). While both Franziska and Bettina hide (or hid) their ambition and animosity under smiles, it was clear to all that there was a real power struggle within the current RGR coalition.
Black Red Coalition Talks
The CDU and SPD are currently negotiating a programme in the hope that they can form a new Berlin government. Even though Giffey and her co-Leader, Raed Saleh, BOTH lost their direct mandates in the recent election re-run, neither is willing to go away just yet. In return for a nice juicy portfolio in the next Berlin senate, Giffey has agreed to relinquish her position of Governing Mayor so that CDU leader Kai Wegner can be the Boss of Berlin. For those who don’t know, Kai is the Spandau native who, when learning that only a third of those men and youths arrested for the NYE riots were actually “foreigners” or immigrants, then demanded to know the first names of the other arrestees – those with German citizenship. The implication being that it wasn’t Fritz or Karl-Heinz throwing fireworks at cops but Mohammad, Mustafa, Ahmed, etc. Kai’s dog whistle was heard loudly and clearly and the CDU popularity rose – not just among former AFD voters but also fed up Berliners who traditionally voted SPD. Naja. It is what it is.
Following their first official coalition talks held last Thursday, populist Kai and plagiarist Franziska announced that they intended to continue with much of the programme already agreed by the current RGR coalition, for example with regard to funding, supporting and encouraging multiculturalism and internationalism in Berlin. Kai (who in January wanted to know people’s first names) talked about being proud of international Berlin. He said this with a completely straight face and with absolutely no sense of irony. Naja. It is what it is.
This week, there will be workshops where the two parties get together to hammer out the details of an agreement. Then they will present the final programme to the members for ratification. The CDU members will undoubtedly vote in favour as they have not been in power since 2006. However, it is still not certain what the youth wing of the Social Democrats (Jusos) will do. At the moment they and the left wing of the party are very much opposed to Giffey and Saleh’s abandonment of the Greens and the Left. The two Co-Leaders are going to have to work very hard to persuade their party. They will only be able to do so if they are able to include much of the current RGR programme. Even though Kai and his Christian Democrats beat the SPD by 10 points, they are so desperate to have power again that they have promised to treat Franziska and her losers as equal partners – eine Koalition “auf Augenhöhe”. Naja. It is what it is.
And finally, saving the best for last… The new GroKo government would continue with the 29 euro monthly ticket indefinitely.