Economy grumbles about groko balance sheet

economy grumbles about groko balance sheet

The economy gives the grand coalition a poor report card on its first year in office. Trade president hans peter wollseifer attested to a "very modest" work result for the union and SPD alliance.

The president of the federation of german industries (BDI), dieter kempf, reported "massive dissatisfaction" in companies. Employer president ingo kramer spoke of wrong "cost and redistribution decisions". Leading coalition politicians expressed confidence that the coalition will last until the regular end of 2021.

This thursday, the grand coalition under chancellor angela merkel (CDU) will have been in office for exactly one year. The coalition government has achieved a number of things, for example in the areas of social and family policy. But there are also disputes on many points, such as the basic pension or the solidarity surcharge. Political scientist oskar niedermayer called the results "mixed". "In principle, the government works in many areas," he stated in the "rhein-neckar-zeitung" (wednesday).

Craft president wollseifer, on the other hand, is disillusioned. He told the "neue osnabrucker zeitung" (wednesday) that the coalition had promised more dynamism and less bureaucracy. "But many of the new laws have made life more difficult for businesses."We don’t need any regulations on part-time working, home office or who knows what else," wollseifer contended before the start of the international crafts fair this wednesday in munich.

BDI president kempf hit the same notch. "Impatience in the economy is growing," he told the "passauer neue presse" (wednesday). The government is spending the money wrongly. The basic pension proposal by labor minister hubertus heil (SPD) would cost between 30 and 50 billion euros over five years. At the same time, he said, artificial intelligence should only be required to the tune of three billion euros by 2025. "This is a misunderstanding," kempf complained.

Employer president kramer said: "the business basis of the coalition agreement – a never-ending all-time boom in economic development – has fallen away in view of the discernible economic downturns. What the coalition agreed to a year ago no longer fits in today’s world."It is now all the more important to make an immediate switch to investment and innovation, as well as a permanent contribution brake at 40 percent overall social security contribution, in order to ensure competitiveness and intergenerational fairness.

SPD vice malu dreyer defended the basic pension and the SPD’s demand to waive a means-tested pension. "Such an assessment is in order when it comes to transfer payments from the state. But the respect pension is not a social benefit," the minister president of rhineland-palatinate told the newspapers of the funke media group (wednesday). Ex-SPD leader franz muntefering disagreed. "It has to be based on need," he told the "passauer neue presse" (wednesday).

At the same time, dreyer emphasized that the SPD had started with the intention of governing until the end of the legislative period in 2021. "There is no reason at all to keep talking about whether the coalition with the union will be continued," said dreyer.

Meanwhile, juso chief kevin kuhnert (SPD) went one step further and named conditions for a continuation of the grand coalition. The first step must be to check: "has what we agreed been worked through?? It’s not for nothing that we have given many projects a concrete date," kuhnert told the "tagesspiegel" (wednesday).

The decision on the basic pension and the passing of the climate law are still pending this year. For him, this is a "concrete milestone". But it is also important to ask: "what else do we have in store for the next two years?? Are there things we still want to get off the ground together??" Then maybe it needs an "update" for the coalition agreement. "But if all we have left is a mass of quarrels, that’s the end of the matter."

Health minister jens spahn (CDU), on the other hand, called discussions about a failure of the coalition an "art debate from berlin-mitte". He also rejected calls from the conservative values union for the new CDU chairwoman annegret kramp-karrenbauer to quickly replace chancellor merkel. "Angela merkel elected chancellor for four years. I expect her to be chancellor for four years. And I hope with her four years federal health minister. That’s the way I plan it, anyway," spahn told rbb television on tuesday evening.

Former chancellor gerhard schroder sees the CDU in a strategic dilemma after merkel does not want to run again as chancellor in 2021. Merkel must now think about when she actually wants to give up, said schroder on tuesday evening at a "handelsblatt" event in berlin. If the CDU politician were to stay on until the end of the election period in 2021, the CDU would face serious problems in the election campaign.

EU commissioner gunther oettinger (CDU) said at the same event that it remains to be seen whether the grand coalition of the union and the SPD will survive the autumn at all. He hopes that the alliance will hold. But it could be that the SPD will leave the coalition after the european elections in may and the three state elections in eastern germany in the fall. "It may be that the social democrats collapse."

Ex-SPD leader muntefering warned against this. "The result of the 2017 federal election will be valid until the next federal election," he told the "passauer neue presse". With a view to soccer, he added: "anyone who thinks he doesn’t have to go out on the field in the second half can’t win. Whoever ends the rough coalition will not be rewarded by the voters."

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