Germany’s far-left woos SPD and Greens for three-party coalition

BERLIN, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Germany’s far-left Linke touted itself on Monday as a potential coalition partner of the Social Democrats and Greens after the Sept. 26 election, saying it offered the two biggest parties the best chance of carrying out their social mission. Strategies.

The push for the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) to a clear lead in the polls over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Tories has drawn attention in Germany and beyond to possible coalition options after hotly contested elections.

At stake is the future of Germany, Europe’s largest economy and most populous country, after 16 years of steady center-right leadership under Merkel. She plans to step down after the elections.

An INSA poll for the mass daily Bild published on Monday shows the SPD extending its lead with 26% support, ahead of the Conservatives at 20.5% and the Greens at 15.5%. The pro-business Free Democrats were at 12.5% ​​and the Linkes at 6.5%.

“We are ready to take on the government’s responsibility,” Dietmar Bartsch, who heads Linke in the Bundestag (lower house of parliament), told reporters.

Olaf Scholz, the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, said on Sunday that he wanted to govern with the left-wing Greens. Polls, however, suggest he would need third-party support to achieve a stable majority in parliament.

Such a three-way alliance points to an SPD/Green alliance with either the Liberal Democrats (FDP), who prefer to team up with the Conservatives, or the Linkes, heirs to the Communist Party that ruled the former East Germany for four years. decades.

The SPD and the Greens would be uncomfortable with such a red-green-red coalition, which according to the conservatives would mean a big move away from the German centrist current.

Scholz has repeatedly distanced himself from Linke, calling the party unfit for government until it clearly commits to the NATO military alliance, the transatlantic partnership with the United States and finance. strong public.

Le Linke said they offered the SPD and the Greens the best chance to deliver on their campaign promises, such as raising the national minimum wage, raising taxes on the super rich and accelerating the transition to renewable energies.

For the SPD and the Greens to lean to the right and instead team up with the FDP would be “election fraud”, Bartsch said, because they would no longer be able to deliver on their campaign promises.

Conservative candidate Armin Laschet’s promise of “toughness” is failing to resonate with voters worried about climate change, immigration and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting by Christian Kraemer and Paul Carrel Editing by Mark Heinrich

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