SPD leader and winner of the election for chancellor in Germany Olaf Scholz has given his first interview since Sunday. He told Der Spiegel that the SPD’s success could be a model for other European Social Democratic parties. He was optimistic that a coalition with the Greens and Liberals could succeed.
“Our success will inspire other social democratic parties in Europe and beyond. If we manage to strengthen the cohesion of society in Germany and manage future technological modernization, others will try it. The SPD went through a long process of reorientation. Germany must dare to start from scratch, to lay the technological and industrial foundations for the future. Successful Social Democratic parties do not believe (so to speak) that life was better before. The SPD has always been a party that has followed technological progress. At the same time, however, mutual respect must once again play an important role in society. How can social segregation be prevented? How can every professional performance be recognized and how can every achievement of life find the same recognition in society? Our task in rich countries is to find an answer to these questions. I am optimistic that a coalition can succeed. The Germans formed the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the Liberal Party (FDP) with their votes. This is a message to these three that we can now do it and form a government together. It is necessary for the parties to talk to each other equally and reach an agreement to form a coalition. “Anyone who wants to form a joint government must have confidence in each other, because later, we will have to resolve many issues that could not have been foreseen during the coalition formation negotiations,” he stressed.
Asked about the different policy approaches between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, Solz said: “I already have specific ideas on how this can be resolved. However, coalition talks should not take place through the media. It would not be wise to talk about any red line now. Even if we start from different starting positions, there must be agreement at the end. The SPD, the Greens and the FDP are linked to the “idea of progress”. We have different approaches, but of course overlapping ideas for implementing this idea. There is a great overlap. “There are many issues that can be agreed upon.”
Schultz finally praised outgoing Chancellor Merkel (CDU): “Mrs. Merkel has an impressive government history. In the end, we co-governed with three of the four Merkel governments and implemented many things that were important to us. Both Mrs Merkel and I know that politics takes a lot of time, that you have to pursue things that are important for a long time. “In a federal country like Germany and in the world, you have to coordinate and agree a lot.”
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