Goethe had his Faust try magic so that he would recognize what holds the world together at its core. How the traffic light coalition can be held together in the long term – that is Olaf Scholz’s task.
In any case, the idea of “partners on an equal footing” has proven to be magic in the real world of government. At least for SPD and FDP. While Greens experience magical election moments, Social Democrats and Liberals smear.
As much as the political style of Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck is celebrated – sympathy alone is not enough to lead a country through crises. The decisive factor is what comes out at the end, as a former chancellor said. This is good news for the current chancellor, who will probably never rise to the spheres of Habeck if he has sympathy.
The Greens are not the problem for Scholz either. It is the FDP and his party, the SPD, that will make governing difficult for him. With the NRW elections at the latest, the Liberals had to recognize that their government course was a product disappointment for their voters.
More national debt plus left-wing social policy contradict what the FDP wanted to be in the traffic light: the corrective to two coalition partners with an affinity for the welfare state. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner will now definitely stick to the debt brake for 2023: it is his Excalibur, to stay in the language of magic.
While the FDP’s lesson from the state election disaster is to minimize state spending, the SPD draws the opposite conclusion. “We allowed too much to be said about arms deliveries and not enough about the increased cost of living and not enough about increased energy prices,” said SPD leader Lars Klingbeil.
That means a nine-euro ticket, a fuel discount, an energy flat rate, a child bonus – all of this is just the beginning of social-democratic crisis management. And that the SPD will call for wage restraint in the forthcoming collective bargaining negotiations in order not to further fuel the spiral of inflation – unimaginable.
It is clear that the economic and foreign policy problems will grow, but so will those within the coalition. How Scholz wants to solve it – it’s magic.