The future German government will represent more of the same

German pollsters may appear satisfied. Voting intention polls predicted the results of last Sunday’s election with unusual certainty. Quite a rarity these days. Finally, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), headed by Olaf Scholz, won first place with 25.7% of the votes, while the Christian Democratic Party (CDU), led by Armin Laschet, (Photo) reached second place with 24.1% of the votes. In third and fourth place appeared the green party, with 14.8% of the votes, and the liberal party (FDP), with 11.5% of the votes.

Beyond all, Sunday’s results represented an electoral catastrophe for the CDU, which starred in his worst election since the war. For its part, the SPD partially restored its vote flow after reaching its all-time low in the 2017 election. Greens made a very good choice, the best in their history, and they will almost certainly participate in the next government. The match far right (AFD) fell from third to fifth place, but his flow of votes only decreased slightly. In addition, the AFD won first place in Saxony and Thuringia, two eastern provinces heavily affected by poverty and inequality.

Since the announcement of the results on Sunday night, negotiations between the parties for the formation of the government began at full speed. For the moment, the “semaphore coalition” between the SPD (red), the greens (green) and the FDP (yellow), with Scholz as chancellor, appears as the most likely. However, the “Jamaica coalition” between the CDU (black), the greens (green) and the FDP (yellow), with Laschet as chancellor, has not yet been completely ruled out. Curiously, the negotiation initiated between the Greens and the Liberals, third and fourth respectively, will determine the future Chancellor of Germany.

In this context, what consequences will the results of Sunday’s election have for the future? In Germany the country model is not in dispute. The main political forces do not present substantive differences with respect to economic, political and social orientation. of the country, but rather represent nuances within the framework of a country model imposed by the ruling classes. The fact that the candidate for Chancellor of the Social Democracy participates in Merkel’s cabinet as Finance Minister represents a sign of the hegemony of the prevailing country model.

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In this sense, the future government, regardless of its composition, will be characterized by course continuity neoliberal assumed by the Merkel government (CDU), as well as by the government of her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder (SPD). The nuances will eventually appear socially, at the initiative of the SPD, and environmentally, at the initiative of the Greens. In the social sphere, the SPD will undertake an increase in the minimum wage, the relaxation of the requirements for social assistance and the expansion of childcare centers. On the environmental front, the greens will establish stricter goals and deadlines for CO2 emissions, as well as a speed limit of 130 km / h on the highways (currently without maximum speed and therefore more polluting).

None of these reforms, obviously, will determine substantive changes in the country model prevailing in Germany. Unfortunately, this model no longer represents, as in the past, a guarantee of well-being for the majority but, on the contrary, since the irruption of neoliberalism in Germany in the late 1990s, it generates an increasingly unequal and less inclusive society. In this sense, the future German government will represent, beyond its final composition, more of the same.

Ezequiel Luis Bistoletti is an Argentine professor at the Alice Salomon Berlin University, in Germany, and host of the program “Demolishing myths of politics”.

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