The German Greens seek to revitalize their campaign

The German Greens face from this Friday and during the weekend a crucial congress for their aspirations in the general elections next September. The conclave, which will be virtual, plans to ratify the candidate for chancery, Annalena Baerbock, and approve the program. But above all, the Greens aspire to reinforce their message and halt the recent drop in polls, which in May placed Baerbock at the head of the electoral race.

Last weekend, in the regional elections of Saxony-Anhalt, the Greens grew less than they expected. In addition, the candidate has suffered several setbacks in recent weeks that have damaged her image, and the party has also received criticism as a result of controversies around statements by the party’s co-leader, Robert Habeck, on the advisability of supplying arms to Ukraine – mired in conflict with separatists in the east — and some electoral proposals.

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The Greens thus seek to relaunch their campaign and regain enthusiasm under the slogan “Germany. Everything is possible ”and with a 135-page program, already advanced by the candidate, but on which internal debate is still expected, given that part of the militancy considers that it should be more ambitious in its objectives to combat climate change.

“The party will establish clear rules on how to deal with the climate crisis. Only zero-emission cars will be allowed from 2030, ”said Baerbock, announcing the broad lines of the program.

The party aims to achieve a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to the 55% set) and increase the price per ton of CO2 to 60 euros compared to the 25 approved by the Government – the rest of the parties foresees a rise to meet the objectives of the Paris agreement—, which will have an impact on the price of fuel for transport and heating. “Climate protection does not exist for free, that should come as no surprise. The key is that [el coste] is socially cushioned ”, defended Danyal Bayaz, the head of Finance green in the Government of Baden-Württemberg, quoted by Reuters, in the line of the party’s leadership, which seeks to give a centrist image, away from extreme proposals.

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Less speed and fewer flights

The green plan also foresees an offensive in the expansion of renewable energies, with the construction of one million new solar roofs in four years; the 130-kilometer-per-hour limit on motorways, anathema to car lovers; and the reduction of cheap short-haul flights with the improvement of rail connections.

The environmental party also wants to ease the burden on small and medium incomes, and to finance it, the maximum tax rate for high income will increase in two stages by three and six percentage points. From an income of 100,000 euros for singles (200,000 euros for married couples), the maximum rate will be 45% and from an income of 250,000 euros (500,000 for married couples), the rate will reach 48%. If they come to power, the Greens want to revive the wealth tax and tax assets over two million euros per person at 1% per year.

Although with debates, the electoral program will foreseeably be ratified by the delegates. The congress will also give Baerbock the opportunity today to try to rebuild his candidacy.

Six weeks ago, this formation achieved the feat of overtaking Merkel’s conservatives in the polls after launching Baerbock, 40, with two daughters, into the race for chancellorship. The green leader wowed voters with her proposal for a “new beginning.”

Double apology

Everything changed when he had to recently admit that he “forgot” to inform the Bundestag on time of the income of 25,220 euros in Christmas bonuses, paid by his party in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Although he rectified immediately and will not be sanctioned, he acknowledged that he had made a mistake”. “I am the first to get angry [con lo ocurrido]”, He said.

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Shortly after, a newspaper investigation Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung revealed that the candidate had made up her resume by stating that she was a lawyer specializing in International Law, even though she had never finished her thesis. Again, the candidate apologized, but her credibility has suffered.

On the eve of the virtual congress, rumors emerged about Baerbock’s possible resignation, but the candidate denied them on Thursday on the ARD television network.

But this did not prevent the weekly Der sppiegel he wonders: “Household mistakes pile up and raise the question of whether the Greens really have what it takes for the big game for power.”

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