Alliances at All Costs: Baerbock and Habeck Are Playing High

              Sunday, November 17, 2019
                A comment by Markus Lippold, Bielefeld

              Undoubtedly, party leaders Baerbock and Habeck are leading the Greens into a new era. They want to be ally – and govern. The commitment is high: maximum willingness to compromise. The departure signal from Bielefeld could also become a mystery.
              The mood is magnificent: both party leaders with more than 90 percent re-elected, the boss even with a new record. Not a single opponent in the election of the board. Debates, but little argument. And lots of applause and thank-you speeches and jubilation over electoral successes and the "two best years" of party history. The Greens are experiencing a high at their party congress. Ironically, in Bielefeld, where it almost tore the party 20 years ago on the issue of the war effort in Kosovo. But the two-year-old and now confirmed chairman Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck have ordered the party harmony, teamwork and a new goal: the federal government. With a "nearly there", the delegates are greeted ambiguously in front of the town hall. Baerbock spoke of three tasks in her passionate as well as acclaimed speech: "We need the team, we need alliances and we have to act." Alliances – "just with those who challenge us," she said. "We are no longer a citizen movement, we are a political force that has the task to design," said shortly afterwards Habeck. The Greens want to govern, that was not to be heard in Bielefeld, and they are getting ready to become allied. Not only for SPD or Left, but also for Union and FDP. At the state level that works, in the Bund it should be. Or better: it has to. The party chiefs play poker high. The price of the ability to form an alliance With great strategic skill, Baerbock and Habeck are promising the Greens the participation in government in Berlin. For this they demand harmony and maximum willingness to compromise. The deal is still going on, the Greens are still flying high, nor are black-green or green-black obvious options. That's why the party pulls along. But that can change quickly until the next federal election. The desired "socio-ecological transformation" is ambitious, but above all very expensive. And she needs time. The younger ones in the party and on the street are already pushing for more radical means. Words rich come to meet them the party leaders – knowing that many of their demands with the Union are so unreachable. The ability to form a coalition has a high price. At the party congress, Baerbock and Habeck have taken out a mortgage. They are governing, they are condemned to success. The party congress of Bielefeld can be a departure signal for the Greens. Or to the menetekel. Then the party could again face an ordeal. Like 20 years ago.

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