AOn Thursday morning Jens Spahn commented on the exploratory talks after the election. Not the Federal Minister of Health, but the deputy CDU chairman was asked. Spahn was asked about the Union’s first meeting with the FDP. There had been at least some confusion in public perception after FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing said on Wednesday evening that the Union had not yet agreed on a fixed date for a meeting with the FDP. That sounded as if the Union didn’t really want to or was arguing again.
Spahn said on Deutschlandfunk that he thinks that the chairmen of the CDU and CSU would clarify this quickly and find an appointment with the FDP. “I cannot imagine that someone in the leadership of the Union has a more urgent deadline than this important question, namely to talk to the other parties about how a stable government can come about for Germany.”
Union explores with a team of 15 people
It remains to be seen whether this sentence was suitable to strengthen the impression of the party leadership’s great ability to act. In any case, it did not take long before Union circles announced that the chairmen of the CDU, CSU and FDP, Armin Laschet, Markus Söder and Christian Lindner, had already agreed on a meeting on Sunday at 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday evening. Much ado, not about nothing, but about something that could have been clarified more noiselessly. But noiseless is just not popular in the Union.
As deputy party chairman, Spahn will be a member of the CDU delegation for the meeting with the FDP. One of quite a few members. The party chairman Armin Laschet will be there, general secretary Paul Ziemiak, the parliamentary group chairman Ralph Brinkhaus, the deputies of Laschet and all CDU prime ministers. Small detail that fits in an unpleasant way into the tense atmosphere between the CDU and CSU: The CSU had publicly reported its team hours before the CDU, not even that happened together. In addition to chairman Söder, four other negotiators also come along. The Union alone is already involved in the explorations with 15 participants.
More important than Spahn’s statement about the date of the exploratory talks were his remarks about where the journey might lead. Spahn campaigned for exploring the possibility of forming a Jamaica alliance of the Union, the Greens and the FDP. Apart from another grand coalition, this is the only possibility for the CDU and CSU to govern and to provide the chancellor. But then the health minister said: “A likely coalition option is a traffic light alliance made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP.” He then added: “There are others too.” Spahn puts pressure on. Which coalition will come about must be clarified by mid-October. It’s only two weeks left.