MOSCOW, 30 Sep 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.
In Germany, the Bundestag election has ended. According to preliminary estimates, the SPD won the most votes – 25.7%, in 2017 it received 20.5% of the votes. Comparative data for the rest of the party are as follows: CDU/CSU – 24.1% (32.9%), the Greens – 14.8% (8.9%), the FDP – 11.5% (10.7%), Alternative for Germany – 10.3% (12.6%), the Left party is balancing on the verge of entering parliament with 4.9% (9.2%), although it still managed to hold its candidates in the districts.
But getting elected is only half the battle. Now the most important and most difficult thing begins – the formation of the ruling coalition. And in this context, the real winner of the election can be called the liberals from the FDP, since all the compositions provide for their entry into the government. They look better even compared to the “greens”, since the option of the SPD-CDU/CSU-FDP alliance leaves the “greens” in opposition.
Of course, German experts do not call the designated “set” popular today, but it lies on the tables and can be resorted to if the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats decide to punish the “greens” for their “environmental extremism”. This cannot be ruled out.
It is unlikely that the German press, which previously favourably treated the “greens”, in the last months of the electoral campaign began to “suddenly” and “accidentally” replicate their mistakes and statements that cause discontent among German voters. Radicalism is not liked in Germany, as the Left party with its slogans in the spirit of “take away and win” has now become convinced.
Formally, both the SPD and the CDU/CSU have a chance to lead the new ruling coalition. Meanwhile, a number of European countries and the United States seem to have already decided on priorities. The heads of the socialist governments of Denmark and Sweden, Mette Frederiksen and Stefan Löfven, congratulated their colleague Olaf Scholz, a candidate for the post of German Chancellor, on the election results.
Frederiksen stressed the fact that the Social Democrats “are now the strongest force in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark”. Social Democrat Jonas Gahr Støre, a likely future Norwegian prime minister, also congratulated Scholz. However, the most intriguing was the reaction of US President Joe Biden when he was informed about the leadership of the SPD: “Wow! They are strong”. It looks like an expression of approval.
The reaction to Scholz turned out to be more difficult for countries that need something from Germany. French President Emmanuel Macron is showing restraint. But something in the position of Paris is clarified by the words of the French Secretary of State for European Integration Clément Beaune.
Firstly, he saw in the election results a “German vote for Merkel,” that is, a chance for continuity of German policy. Secondly, Beaune, predicting “difficult negotiations” on the creation of a coalition, called on French politicians to start informal talks with the leaders of the winning parties right now, “so that we can get to know each other better”.
For France, the key question is who the new chancellor will be – a supporter of the German-French alliance in the European Union or will focus exclusively on Washington.
Despite the optimism of the Polish ambassador to Germany Andrzej Przylembski, who believes that with the new German government, its SPD or CDU/CSU will be formed, and Warsaw “will not have very big disagreements”, German political scientists hold a different opinion. They believe that Berlin will stop turning a blind eye, as under Merkel, to Warsaw’s non-compliance with European standards of the rule of law or climate norms.
According to political analysts, the main critic of Poland will be the Greens, who have so far been very critical of the ruling Polish coalition. It will not be easy for Ukraine either. Kiev made a political mistake when Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky went to get acquainted with the candidate for the post of chancellor from the CDU/CSU Armin Laschet, and the ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andrey Melnik was sent to meet Scholz. The Social Democrats will not forget such disregard for them.
As for Moscow, the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin is counting on the continuity of Berlin’s course in bilateral relations. He noted that Germany is a major trade, economic and investment partner for Russia, and Moscow is interested in developing these relations.
In turn, the Russian ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechayev, noting Berlin’s embeddedness in the rigid framework of the transatlantic system, expressed hope that the new government would be guided by national interests in bilateral relations.
This suggests that Moscow is not counting on radical changes in Germany’s foreign policy. There is no demand for this from either German society or German politicians. Berlin, apparently, will coordinate its political activities with Washington, but wants to reserve the right to independently determine the parameters of economic cooperation with Russia and China. And today this is the maximum of strategic autonomy that it is ready to afford.