tv Quadriga - Waiting for Germany New Government in Sight Deutsche Welle January 19, 2018 9:30am-10:01am CET
i hope that this will make us more ethical person so what would life be like as a cyborg. what do you think will happen society does the human race need an upgrade i think it's only the beginning of this site works human machines starting february first on t w. a y one a very warm welcome indeed to quadriga coming to you from the heart of. germany it still doesn't have a government months after september inconclusive national election in the latest development angle americal says conservatives and the social democrats agreed in principle on a blueprint for forming another so-called grand coalition but that deal must still get the approval of the skeptical social democrat membership at
a special party conference this weekend and nobody but nobody is ruling out the possibility of it being rejected and that could in turn trigger more uncertainty and even fresh elections in europe's largest economy and lead the nation so our question here on quadriga this week is waiting for germany new government in sight and to discuss that question i'm joined here in the studio by three excellent. analysts beginning with under various klute editor in chief of hundreds perhaps global and interest says another grand coalition would alienate even ball voters support german democracy into a coma he says well also with us is derek scally who writes for the irish times he believes that with this grand coalition agreement in germany social democrats have signed their own death warrant strong stuff and a very warm welcome to japan scout group and all third and correspondent. for the
french weekly magazine left one scholar argues that the european project needs the ground coalition french president emanuel mccraw he's changed so he's still waiting for an answer from me. ok pascale about to begin with your let's begin with the headline story here four months almost have passed since germany's inconclusive election last september still no government in place here in berlin this is not what we expect from germany is it no it isn't and we heard during the campaign the germans want stability they won continued they don't want any experiments they want something very secure and very quickly secure and now we have these two and fro and we don't know and then the whole thing starts again from from scratch so it's very surprising and. you know if i hear my course said it shouldn't last too long so that the europeans are waiting and i think the germans are either fed up or
slightly a little bit what it when are they going to get the government what do you want what i mean you mention president micro what or what you know your view is what are ordinary french people saying about all this we're looking closely at what's going on in germany i think they don't understand anymore and they don't understand the s.p.d. and what is happening here you know they are voting and it's very difficult for me to explain that to my readers the s.b. they voted a few a few weeks ago before christmas that you know they agreed to stop negotiation but that these are pretty good solution they're not the real negotiation now so they get something to vote and if that it gets through to yes then there'd be another vote at the end and you know we just don't understand then what's this what's this cost why can they not agree and do it or not do it but make a decision. you're laughing because you're listening to they're listening to what was going to say i was thinking you know we've been waiting so long at this stage gado is probably going to show up for a new german chancellor it is remarkable but if you're being optimistic you could
say this is the normalization of german politics last year we had the dutch and we had the belgians you know waiting for a government does seems to be the new getting a government i think the real problem is that look we had a bit of a and earthquake here in germany on september twenty fourth there was both the large parties had their worst results since one thousand nine hundred eighty nine and they just want to carry on and. that's probably the only option really open magically they certainly don't want to go back to the to the people but they would have realized that this is not people are very insecure and they've put together a sort of a after not wanting to work together notice that ok we will work together i mean that's already you know starting off on the wrong foot you actually didn't want to work together and now you are and they are saying this is a wonderful deal and there are really big things going on in the world and we're starting to see the tremors in germany and i don't see either of these parties have actually responded to that and what they present to the people was that in the
preliminary going into the talks considering what's going on in the world are certainly taking their sweet time and the political parlance for all this is the wording that is very widely used especially in the media is that there is a political crisis in germany people are willing to concede that much but there is not a crisis of state as it is but. so no i don't always post i understand it's not supposed to reassure us well i mean it's a tribute to the fathers of the german constitution the german state can still function without a government you don't have a government shutdown here like you would have in the u.s. but and the complacency here is quite staggering i mean it's bad enough as a journalist trying to follow this on a day to day basis but the rest of europe is waiting for germany and the they're sitting starting their own belly buttons picking out a bit. fluff day by day and this is really not a responsible way to be the largest power in europe what do what do you say andras about this i mean this is become a bit of a political ploy to to to say that germany isn't is
a mature well rooted democracy these days that it's a pretty unshakable as a democracy cannot be shaken by this crisis no i don't think i mean if it did the specter of why maher is completely inappropriate nothing will shake this in fact. germany because of lyme are introduced a constitution that gives the president of germany funk. in this case powers actual powers only in this scenario and he was quite stern in effect he forced his own party the social democrats back into these talks with angela merkel after the social democrats had on election night ruled it out so the nothing will shake democracy of germany and i think it's it's a lot of it is overblown as you can tell the country is very complacent that is the risk in the grand coalition would make it worse but the country is currently running fantastically well with low unemployment and surpluses and gifts to be doled out dealt out everywhere that shows you the ordinary german citizen isn't
very concerned there is a not an economic crisis as you said but a political crisis underneath i happen to think that in the medium and long run this grand coalition which would be the fourth in post-war history and the third under angle on merkel would actually make the political crises crisis worse in the long run ok we'll talk about that in just a moment but of the senses just to pick up on the the the basic economic data with impressive growth and record levels of employment the country is pretty much on autopilot and there is no problem. at the moment yes but no decisions can be mate not on the european level new policy decisions for germany but it's true that this is happening on the on the bedding of of economic wealth unemployment is low the starts ghassan them in the state is well off office the office the
state is well off and this is a great luck i mean if it was happening in economic crises and uncertainties and fears then it would be quite dangerous we still have a little bit of time not too much ok but this week is being talked about is a decision week there rick what what is being decided this week and what makes it so crucial all knots in your view all of us need to understand that the risk of the boy who cried wolf i mean you can call as a journalist keep saying breakthrough breakthrough it's like the cure for cancer at this stage what we have is the social democrats have the leaders of the party have come up with a preliminary plan they're going to put that to over six hundred party delegates this weekend if those delegates say yes we like that they're going to form a coalition talks at the end of the process over four hundred thousand social democrat voters the rank and file sitting at home with a piece of paper can put an x. in the privacy of their own living room do we like this or do we not like this we
want to punish the leaders of the party or don't we do we want to collapse this maybe just to give america sent her off into the sunset we don't know what's going to happen at the end of this process so what's happening at the weekend is yet another in between step obviously it would be important to send a signal the delegates of the party stand behind the leadership and they want to go into these talks with a view to forming a government but do the members i've talked to a lot of members who said this is the very last thing the social democrats need we've been in power for far too long we've been able to anglo-american far too long she's gotten everything out of us we've got nothing back and they say this preliminary coalition deal they said everything. we promise are a lot of the things we promised our voters the big ticket items they weren't delivered so little anger mark was dangling off a cliff we were her last hope we reached out we gave her a hand we got nothing for us so why on earth should we go into government with this woman again we've we've already been sold down the river before the government is started that's what a lot of rank and file people are saying so this negotiations at the weekend it
will all be very nice and lots of emotional speeches but whether or not the actual members want and they will have the final word whether they want to that remains to be seen ok we'll talk about this lady as you call a very very shortly for the time being all eyes are on the s.p.d. as derek has just been explaining the social democrats germany's oldest political party but the s.p.d. is currently in disarray and its leader martin schultz is struggling to persuade the party faithful to follow him into a rerun of the grand coalition let's have a look. martin shelter's been traveling around the country trying to convince people that the s.p.d. must carry out its political responsibilities but not everyone agrees with him. or. schultz was caught off guard shame on you. most important thing that we have achieved in these political negotiations is this we have now created an excellent opportunity to move europe in a new direction that's something i will campaign for. and i am certain that
we will be able to turn this headwind into a tailwind for good what younger s.p.d. party members are turning away from shoulders mostly because they're opposed to a new grand coalition. and. we're convinced that this coalition would threaten the existence of the s.p.d. as a political party. if you hadn't voted. the social democrats are divided as never before does this signal the hand of the s.p.d. . the question they're under as clue does it does it signal the end for the for the s.p.d. i mean after all this is the party of brunson how much mitt and they are apparently fighting for their life so. what's going on is that social democrats are these central left post marxist companies across europe have been in a slow steady decline because none of them including the german social democrats have found compelling answers to the big question of our time of the modern age of
the internet of things an artificial intelligence where it's no longer the proletariat against the honchos or the bosses they haven't had if you notice the main domestic policy they went the social democrats went these negotiate negotiations which we have was a decade old idea about reform of the left the reform of the health insurance system and it was written off so they have not really produced any. and people are losing interest and can increasingly not tell the difference between them and other center left parties like the greens and can increasingly not tell the difference between them and i'm going rickles christian democrats so for them it is bad i read in the latest poll today they've dropped another tupac percent points to eighteen percent from their vote their historically low results on september twenty fourth of twenty percent so they're in very bad shape but to be honest it's just their problem and i almost think they deserve it. pasko do you see similarities between
the problems facing germany social democrats and the demise of the of the socialists in fronts oh the fray if you think that socially in crowds are lefties and. clinging to marxist theories then you don't know the french ones i mean the french socialist and the french left represented the far left by drowning. very very antiquated and and i with all of this so we in french see the social democrats as a much more it's much more middle center and that's the problem is that if they don't go into the opposition. they will carry on losing their their their soul and losing their their you know they are ideas they have been swallowed by the christian democrats and it's interesting because they've come now to an agreement draft of a coalition contract and there's no major left wing idea in there i mean europe is
good but i don't think that you know martin sure he's trying to do what he thinks that is done in france went into the election with a very european program but the people of france didn't vote massively in the second form because of europe they voted massively because they wanted to avoid mark independent performance you know so i don't think that they voted explicitly for my course programme in the especially not for europe venture very euro sceptic they voted to brocade something they voted against. instead of for someone and i don't think that marked insurance is going to you know europe is not going to mobilize the crowds in germany. last sunday had a contract of negotiation they headed as a measure they wanted to introduce the minimum salary and that of course was a very social democrat idea this time there's not much and i agree with those of you that the members of the s.p.d. will be very disappointed and say well what the party leadership is is inclined
towards getting involved in another grand coalition with under the medical's conservatives use a directive that would be signing their death warrant because they need new ideas i do not see they've been empowered markel twice over every time they go into power market what happens is they commit the other and they have sometimes achieved some great things in the last government they achieved a minimum wage that would be considered in many countries resigning only now but later chief that they didn't weren't able to sell it and the government the party leaders say we need to be in power to implement things for in the opposition we don't get anywhere the famous line the opposition is rubbish that's a line from the old s.p.d. leader but in government they weren't able to achieve anything they aren't able to sell it and. i don't really see one big ideas of a headline features lots of nice things in their pension reform and and vestment in schools and digitalisation but these are things that any sensible government should want to do particularly considering the state of things here but they haven't got one headline thing that they can say and we got this that america is going to hurt
her but it's going to help our voters and that's why we're going to government i don't have that one so who's got an answer to the question what is the alternative to the grand coalition if i may have a scenario that there's a very good alternative it's a minority government and the germans just haven't had one because they're or the founders of the constitution were afraid of their experience in the weimer republic when there was such instability that it led to the nazis but actually lots of countries including yours ireland. everyone in scandinavia canada has had twelve depending how you count thirteen minority governments new zealand all around as the dutch and minority government is is not the the disaster that i go merkel seems to think it is it's not even necessarily in stable and stable it just means the largest party she would form a government and she would have to get majorities from an active and vibrant chamber of democracy the bundestag the parliament she would have on the merits of
each case. that includes ninety two members of the far right populace jacket is the best way to defuse that populist rise that's what i was going say why did the why is the alternative for germany called alternative because of the word alternative less that angle or merkel coined there is no hearts or with these the grand coalitions when she presented everything as well the left is in the right as we're all together and there's nothing else for you to worry about there's nothing even to debate and to vote on it is much healthier if we take the big issues and debate them with shifting majorities and she will be toppled by the way even if they have a grand coalition it could be toppled it won't last for years necessarily so i think they should consider that it would be better for democracy it would bring the population back it would make them less cynical i think it would be bad for the alternative for germany if if there was a minority government and proper debate including them where they have to actually stand up and people might listen to them which is the worst thing that could happen
to them the populists. well the other is new elections but that's also very dangerous or maybe a very stupid idea is why dangerous well because if you have a new election where maybe the danger was stupid if you have new elections let's say in two months or three months first of all is going to be hostile and extremely expensive and difficult to organize but also the result might be the same as what we had on the twenty fourth of september maybe even worse for the s.p.d. who haven't been able to make a coalition and then you have to start from scratch and that would bring delays and i mean it's not the solution either. and it's not a solution for europe i mean if you remark in shows as comes from the european parliament he was very proud to get three pages of european speak at the start of this coalition preliminary coalition agreement when you look at it actually does not much i mean they've sort of signaled that they will come they will meet michael
halfway on this notion of reforming the euro zone investment and so on in the euro zone to sort of protect to insulate the euro zone against future shocks but if you actually look at the detail they're not actually mr schultz is very in favor of mr maher khans proposals mrs merkel has always been very skeptical she said yesterday i'm still quite skeptical and so she has been saved pulled back from the brink by the democrats and she has managed to somehow have the positions now that she had before the elections so again where the d.s.p. to manage to seclude score a point or bring her over to their side on europe or the rest of europe has said oh this is a breakthrough for europe germany said well we'll consider micron's proposal that's all they've said so this is our big i mean to the people of europe wanted this grand plan that schultz is talking about a federal european state within eight years i don't know who else wants that around europe among the european the other countries the neighboring countries the member countries and european ordinary european voters don't they don't want to buy into
this vision that martin short is. to go out there and take out no i don't think so and he's talking about the united states of europe was mccomas talking about we need to make we need to integrate the euro zone i think on the corners talk where we need to get momentum back into the european union since break that we've just been sitting around saying what is the future so i think his idea is if you start talking about moving the european union forward on again or the euro zone we're back on track i don't know whether that's worrying people on the streets but to go out and sell this as a break triumph for social democracy is rather rather naive ok what's roll of the u.s. will be asking themselves is angle americal play in all this i'm sure that one thing is for certain that it doesn't look good for the most powerful woman in the world as she is often called if she can't cobble together a coalition government. angela merkel's fourth term is off to a rocky start. in last september's election your support for the christian democrats fell sharply compared to twenty thirteen. then coalition talks with the
free democrats and the greens collapsed. that was followed by talks with the social democrats the chancellor has vowed to carry on. here i think this document represents an appropriate level of give and take and a wide range of topics that are important to our society and it's going to take plenty of work to convert all this into actual policy. of course the chancellor will not have the final say on that or a political fate is now in the hands of the social democrats but even if the two sides agree to form a coalition we'll have forty takes to lead this new compromise government. what's your assessment of what i'm going to medical finds itself at this point in time have been bashed is she by events here in germany where it makes its make
clear how fragile political destiny is and how it can capsize very very quickly i mean remember before the election especially in france i'm going to makea was seen you know. thrown in the middle of all these tempest and she was then she was wonderful the french had the real love. because she was a she was she's the contrary to what our politicians are and all the hopes well. everybody was sure she would be the next strong chancellor and four months later. very five. very much criticised. past politics are criticised there's no nobody she has blocked the way for the succession there's nobody really . obvious who could. take on the if she had to stop governing so. it's very interesting and i don't see how she can even if there's a grand coalition with some kind of coalition being formed how she can get out of
it and become again the most force for the most powerful woman in the world would you say. cite the influential weekly newspaper in the in this morning's edition side or out a one page photo of anglo-american above it is she already consigned to history. you could say damaged goods or a lame duck she she is but the thing is she is so skillful as a politician that she could prolong this lame duck period possibly for years but i think she's also wise enough to realize that people are dead after almost thirteen years it's time to allow some potential errors successors to rise in our party and i think no matter what happens in a coalition in a minority government she will make way for somebody in this legislative term of four years so i think we've got maybe two years of her show is back at the start of
her career a famous line i don't want to be she was asked why do politicians always miss the moment to leave and she said well that won't happen to me i don't want to become a half dead rock and one who saw her after twenty four hours of all night discussions i mean the woman is quite she's a happy and wrecked but she looked like a half dead rock there's no makeup in the world that can cover that up and we need to separate of course between what during the super uncovering her props are getting a little bit bored by her i want a new face and a new story we need to separate that from what necessarily people want but i covered the german election and the fury towards her by a small group but a growing group with this notion that angle america is a she's a she's a she's not a strategist he's a tactician and the tactics is what how do i get past the next obstacle she got got she. with this coalition agreement the question is whether voters feel that way or whether. i have my doubts you know it's interesting for for of us i should perhaps
just mention one recent survey gave sixty five percent backing as a good chancellor seventy percent of germans associate with stability that's very important for germans of course the two thirds say best days have gone. we're getting close to the end of the show our question at the beginning of the show was waiting for germany to a new government in sight if you could give each of you a quick. break and that's give us a quick assessment of where we're going to go next here in germany. i hope and think the grand coalition will fail and we will be surprised to discover that a minority government works unbelievably well even in germany. minority government thank you the whole three of you for being here today. thanks very much for joining us to. come back next week but.
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