Söder calls for center-right ‘bulwark’ against left in Germany
Unity essential against 'traffic-light' government says CSU leader
As Germany’s conservatives prepare to hand over power to a Social Democrat-led government, CSU leader Markus Söder has appealed for unity to build a “bulwark” against the left.
“With a traffic-light government, we may face a new era in politics,” Söder told newspaper Die Welt, in an interview published Saturday. “It is important that the CDU and CSU show a new unity. We have to become the bulwark against the rise of the left in Germany.”
The traffic-light refers to a coalition of centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) that appears to be shaping up to form a government.
Three weeks after a general election, the first-placed SPD and their candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz are in pole position to lead the next government. They have started talks with the Greens and the FDP and have already agreed on ambitious new energy goals.
The talks appear to have put paid to any hopes the conservatives had of forming the next government. The center-right, made up of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU), has been undergoing a painful process of self-examination since its worst-ever election results last month.
On Saturday, CDU leader Armin Laschet took the blame. “Responsibility for the results is mine, as the leader and the candidate for chancellor,” he told a meeting of young CDU members in Münster. “The issue was a bitter one [and] nothing should be swept under the carpet,” he added, according to AFP.
Laschet also acknowledged the conservatives should prepare themselves to become the next opposition party in the Bundestag.
Coalition talks between the SPD, Greens and FPD are expected to last several weeks and, if successful, would lead to Schloz replacing Angela Merkel as chancellor.
Söder called on the center-right parties to put aside differences as they prepare for opposition.
“We are two parties, but we have a common civic ideal. We should move closer together in style and content instead of talking publicly about each other,” Söder said.
In particular, he said the center-right should resist any attempts by the incoming government to rise taxes. “We will definitely not go along with any tax increases. We rather need tax cuts, ” he said