Greens promise to turn Germany into a “socio-ecological economy”


The German Green Party adopted an election manifesto on Sunday that promises to transform the country’s economy and accelerate its transition to carbon neutrality within ten years until 2035.

Committing to make Germany a “socio-ecological market economy”, Annalena Baerbock, party candidate for chancellor, this weekend proposed a “pact with German industry”. Companies that have become climate neutral and localized their production would receive compensation from the state, she said.

“To those who think that too much climate protection puts prosperity at risk, I would like to say: yes, in the past our prosperity was based on the burning of coal, oil and gas. But the 20th century is over, ”Baerbock said. “The markets of the future will be climate neutral. . . The question is not whether this will happen, but who will do it best. And I want us to be at the forefront.

She and her party have come under scrutiny ahead of the September parliamentary elections, which will not only mark the end of Angela Merkel’s 16 years as chancellor, but will see the eco-party field its first candidate for the highest post in Germany.

Greens have surfed a wave of popularity after Baerbock’s nomination but rivals argued its climate plans would cost individuals more – in terms of fuel and flights.

Following fierce attacks by Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats and center-left Social Democrats, the Greens recorded sixth place in a state election Last weekend. They fell to 22 percent in polls, with the CDU again in the lead, with 28 percent.

Baerbock, meanwhile, was mired in a wave of critical on the late declaration of additional income and the embellishment of his curriculum vitae.

The CDU and SPD, long the dominant parties in Germany and wary of green ancestry, attacked its proposed 60 euro per tonne carbon tax, arguing that it places a heavy burden on low-income citizens. Green leaders have struggled to get their message across that it will only cost citizens a few cents more than the current government plan.

Delegates to this weekend’s conference broadly supported Baerbock, despite complaints from his young left base that the leadership’s plan is too moderate. Delegates rejected their proposal to further raise carbon prices and supported a € 500 billion spending plan for the next ten years, based on a proposal from the Greens to release the brake on the debt of the United States. Germany.

Amending the constitutionally enshrined debt law requires the support of two-thirds of parliament, which analysts doubt the Greens can achieve. But the party is keen to shake its image as Ban Party (the party of prohibitions) and presents itself as a driver of innovation and social justice.

It did little to change the tone of the attacks. On Friday, a lobby group called the Initiative for a New Social Market Economy placed ads in almost every major newspaper, describing Baerbock in green robes like Moses, wielding two stone tablets with the “new” Ten Commandments, including a ban on flying and fossil fuel vehicles.

In promoting his economic plan, Baerbock made explicit reference to US President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 billion infrastructure plan and called for “a transatlantic alliance for climate neutrality.”

She also had harsh words for European and German foreign policy, criticizing the EU for its complacency with Chinese purchases of European infrastructure, and reiterated its rejection of Berlin’s support for the disputed Nord Stream 2 pipeline. “Europe has sold itself short. Yet we are the largest economic community in the world, ”she said. “We have everything we need to set our own standards. . . If we don’t become more sovereign, others will decide for us.

While pushing for a tougher line on China and Russia could be music to many ears in Washington, the Greens also pledged to renegotiate Germany’s pledge to NATO to devote 2% of its budget to the defense, a move likely to be unpopular with the Biden administration. .

Stefan Müller, parliamentary director of the CDU’s sister Bavarian party, the CSU, presented the new platform as “the familiar old left-wing mix of redistribution, global state control and moralizing know-it-all.”

Achim Post, deputy head of the SPD parliamentary group, called it a “fiscal policy mess”, arguing that it was “dominated by the principle of hope instead of realism”.

Baerbock, smiling after 98% of delegates voted in the platform, acknowledged the difficulties ahead. “It was the easy part,” she said. “Now the real campaign begins. “



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