Does Germany’s Step to the Left Sacrifice the Economy?
Arguing in Forbes that the Free Democratic Party’s exit from the Bundestag spells stagnation for the German and European economies, Doug Bandow details the FDP’s long slide to missing the 5 percent threshold to enter the German parliament and criticizes the Christian Democratic Union’s and Christian Social Union’s concessions to the Social Democratic Party during coalition negotiations:
Although the CDU-CSU was much stronger in the Bundestag, the Social Democrats demanded specific concessions, such as a national minimum wage, which will reduce Germany’s employment advantage over its European neighbors, limitations on temporary employment, which will cut job opportunities, expanded pension benefits, which will add to the financial burden of an aging society, higher than necessary state pension contributions, which will be looted to fund political initiatives, and urban rent controls, which will discourage apartment construction and maintenance.
Concluding that nothing is set in stone until the SPD membership vote to confirm the coalition agreement, Bandow outlines the possible consequences of a no vote: restarting coalition negotiations with different parties — presumably the Greens; a minority coalition; or, another election. He argues that a new election would at least provide the FDP a chance to re-enter the Bundestag.