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German Greens hope to win chancellorship in upcoming elections

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Despite coming second way behind chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU coalition in current polls, Germany’ Greens have a chance of becoming the strongest party and winning the chancellorship in this year’s general election, Anton Hofreiter, head of the Greens’ parliamentary group, told Valerie Höhne in an interview on Spiegel Online. Merkel’ popularity and the coronavirus crisis are helping the CDU/CSU in the polls for now, but Merkel won’t be running in the September elections and this means there will be “an open race to see who has the best answers for the future of our country,” Hofreiter said. “How do we succeed in expanding renewable energies, how do we secure Germany as an industrial location, how do we create more social cohesion?” would be questions that the parties have to answer.

Hofreiter said his party would tackle the climate crisis proactively, “with massive investments in new energy systems, in railways and public transport, in climate-neutral industrial processes.” He criticised the programme of the CDU/CSU – the parties with which the Greens could enter into a coalition after the election –  for being “ecologically, economically and socially bad for the future of our country. The CDU/CSU wants to save rather than invest. It is putting the brakes on the expansion of renewables and thus endangering the ecological restructuring of industry.” Hofreiter said that the Green Party had more in common with the Social Democrats (SPD), who are currently governing as a junior partner alongside the CDU/CSU, but he also called them “exhausted and weary.”

The Green Party currently polls at around 21 percent compared to 35 percent for the CDU/CSU and 14 percent for the SPD. The Greens still have to choose their candidate for the chancellery, which will likely be one of their co-party heads, Annalena Baerbock or Robert Habeck. While the SPD is a former — and in the eyes of many a more natural — coalition partner to the Greens, the first conservative-Green alliance on the federal level currently looks like the most probable outcome of the election, according to many analysts.

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