UPDATE: Germany’s Greens eye comeback as they launch election campaign

Germany's Green party sought to shore up its gaffe-marred bid to succeed Angela Merkel with a focus on policies over personalities as it launched its campaign for September elections on Monday.

UPDATE: Germany's Greens eye comeback as they launch election campaign
Campaign manager Michael Kellner launching the Greens election campaign with a poster of Greens co-leaders Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock in the background. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Michael Kappeler

The ecologist outfit, since 2005 in the opposition, had enjoyed a surge in popularity after naming young hopeful Annalena Baerbock as its pick for chancellor, even overtaking Merkel’s CDU-CSU conservative bloc.

But a series of missteps by Baerbock including a plagiarism scandal have left the conservatives as firm favourites to emerge as the biggest party in the election – which will see Merkel bow out after 16 years in power.

READ ALSO: German Greens’ candidate defends herself after plagiarism claim

Campaign manager Michael Kellner told reporters in Berlin the party saw September’s vote as “directional”.

“Are we making progress with climate protection or not? Are we reducing inequality in our society or not?… What is this election about?,” he said.

He unveiled posters, which will be displayed across Germany, featuring slogans such as “Economy and climate – without crisis” alongside images of Baerbock and party co-leader Robert Habeck, among others.

‘Strong duo’

Asked why none of them featured the word “chancellor”, Kellner said the party would focus more on individual personalities when campaigning begins in earnest next month.

“We are strong together in our team and we have a strong duo for this election,” he said.

The party will be looking to win back support lost after Baerbock, 40, failed to declare bonuses to the Bundestag, put inaccuracies in her CV and allegedly plagiarised sections of her campaign book.

After the publication of Baerbock’s book “Jetzt” (Now) in June, an Austrian plagiarism expert wrote an explosive blog post claiming sections of the book were copied from the internet.

Baerbock and her supporters have called the accusations overblown and said the political treatise did not have to meet the same attribution standards as a scientific paper.

But the Greens’ ratings have continued to slide, with a poll for the Bild daily on Sunday showing them on just 17 percent – well behind the conservatives on 28 percent.

The former trampolinist has even faced rumours she will step aside in favour of Habeck, though Habeck himself dismissed that theory as “nonsense” in an interview with the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung at the weekend.

“We have just elected Annalena as our candidate… with almost 100 percent” of the vote at a party congress, he said, insisting there was “no debate” about a possible switch.

Habeck himself embarked on an election tour of his home region of Schleswig-Holstein Monday, when he was to visit a wind turbine facility on the
island of Sylt.


‘Chancellor by default’

The conservatives, meanwhile, have seen their ratings slowly improve after a dismal start to the year, especially since the nomination of their chancellor candidate Armin Laschet.

Baerbock had also been ahead of Laschet in surveys of which personality Germans would prefer to see as their next chancellor.

But a recent poll had the North Rhine-Westphalia state premier in front on 25 percent, with Baerbock behind on 19 percent.

READ ALSO: Make Germany together? How Merkel’s CDU missed the mark on election campaign launch

With the environment shaping up to be a key issue on the campaign trail, Laschet on Sunday promised to speed up efforts for Germany to achieve its goal of becoming climate neutral by 2045.

“If we want fewer people to fly, we have to build railways faster, for example. Everything is going much too slowly,” he said.

He also called for greater international cooperation to tackle climate change, insisting that “without China, without Russia, without other major
players, it won’t work”.

But critics say Laschet’s current success in the polls has less to do with his platform and more to do with the flat-footed campaign of the Greens.

The CDU-CSU alliance “has Annalena Baerbock to thank for its comfortable position”, Der Spiegel magazine wrote on Saturday.

“At the moment it looks as though (Laschet) will almost become chancellor by default,” it said.

By Yannick PASQUET and Femke COLBORNE

Member comments

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. Pingback: Anonymous
  3. Pingback: Anonymous
  4. Pingback: Anonymous
  5. Pingback: Anonymous
  6. Pingback: Anonymous
  7. Pingback: Anonymous
  8. Pingback: Anonymous
  9. Pingback: Anonymous
  10. Pingback: Anonymous
  11. Pingback: Anonymous
  12. Pingback: Anonymous
  13. Pingback: Anonymous
  14. Pingback: Anonymous
  15. Pingback: Anonymous
  16. Pingback: Anonymous
  17. Pingback: Anonymous
  18. Pingback: Anonymous
  19. Pingback: Anonymous
  20. Pingback: Anonymous
  21. Pingback: Anonymous
  22. Pingback: Anonymous
  23. Pingback: Anonymous
  24. Pingback: Anonymous
  25. Pingback: Anonymous
  26. Pingback: Anonymous
  27. Pingback: Anonymous
  28. Pingback: Anonymous
  29. Pingback: Anonymous
  30. Pingback: Anonymous
  31. Pingback: Anonymous
  32. Pingback: Anonymous
  33. Pingback: Anonymous
  34. Pingback: Anonymous
  35. Pingback: Anonymous
  36. Pingback: Anonymous
  37. Pingback: Anonymous
  38. Pingback: Anonymous
  39. Pingback: Anonymous
  40. Pingback: Anonymous
  41. Pingback: Anonymous
  42. Pingback: Anonymous
  43. Pingback: Anonymous
  44. Pingback: Anonymous
  45. Pingback: Anonymous
  46. Pingback: Anonymous
  47. Pingback: Anonymous
  48. Pingback: Anonymous
  49. Pingback: Anonymous
  50. Pingback: Anonymous
  51. Pingback: Anonymous
  52. Pingback: Anonymous
Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Scholz calls on coalition to ‘pull ourselves together’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday called on his fractious governing coalition to "pull ourselves together" following a dismal showing in EU parliament elections last week.

Scholz calls on coalition to 'pull ourselves together'

In power since the end of 2021, the three parties in government — Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the liberal FDP — have been at loggerheads on a wide range of issues including climate measures and budget spending.

“I think that this is one of the entirely justified criticisms of many citizens, namely that there is too much debate” within the coalition, Scholz told German television channel ZDF on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy.

“We need to pull ourselves together and stick together to reach agreements,” he added.

“The people have the right to demand that things change,” Scholz told public broadcaster ARD.

The three parties in the coalition suffered a severe defeat in the European elections, with the SPD achieving its worst result in a national election since 1949.

Subsequently, Scholz has faced mounting criticism within his own party.

On Saturday, however, Scholz told ZDF and ARD that he was “sure” that he would be the SPD’s next candidate for the chancellorship in the parliamentary elections scheduled for autumn 2025.

In the very short term, a new test awaits the coalition, which must reach an agreement on the 2025 budget by the beginning of July.

The FDP’s finance minister is opposed to any exceptions to the rules limiting debt and to any tax increases.

On the other hand, the SPD and the Greens are opposed to cuts in social welfare or climate protection.

The debate is also focused on increasing the resources allocated to the German army.