Saxony-Anhalt: will the bulwark break? (

Photo: dpa / Sebastian Willnow

Cornelia Lüddemann had made herself comfortable in her living room – but the Greens Landtag member from Saxony-Anhalt, who is also the top candidate for the state elections in the coming year, did not feel like cozy before Christmas. Rather, she looked desperate. Lowered his eyes, shrugged, shook his head. “If this bulwark falls against the right,” said the group leader and paused for a moment, “then the business basis of this coalition is gone for me. It hurts my soul. “

As part of a green state party conference, Lüddemann reported by video from her home on Friday evening. Because of the corona pandemic, the party conference took place entirely digitally, but the Greens will probably be grateful that it took place at all. Because the situation is serious. The governing coalition in Saxony-Anhalt with the CDU and SPD, which proponents like to refer to as a “bulwark against the right” – in view of a strong AfD, which won a whopping 23.4 percent in the last state election – is more at stake than ever before. And not only Lüddemann, other speakers also expressed considerable doubts as to whether the alliance, which had already been on shaky feet from the start, could continue to exist.

After the CDU parliamentary group announced that it would vote against the new interstate broadcasting treaty and the associated increase in the broadcasting fee by 86 cents at the state parliament session on December 15, not only the political landscape in Saxony-Anhalt, but in Germany as a whole is in falter devices. Unsurprisingly, the AfD also wants to vote against the increase. If the conservatives were to stick with a “no,” they would once again make common cause with the right-wing extremists. From the point of view of many observers, this would be tantamount to a “dam break,” as was seen in Thuringia at the beginning of the year when the AfD and CDU elected FDP candidate Thomas Kemmerich as short-term Prime Minister.

The coalition partners SPD and Greens are still avoiding a clear public position, which they will actually do in the event of a “no” from the CDU. And yet it is becoming increasingly clear: the coalition could actually break up.

At the Green Party Congress, for example, one looked at faces that were fighting but somehow at a loss. “We will not be able to go along with it, because it goes against every basic conviction of ours,” said Claudia Dalbert, the only Green Minister in the cabinet. She announced that she wanted to wrestle until the last day to ensure that the coalition would continue to exist. But, according to Dalbert, “will only happen if the CDU thinks about its responsibility.” Co-country chief Sebastian Striegel symbolized: »The CDU and the AfD are putting the ax to the independence of public broadcasting. And that would also be an ax on the foundation of ‘Kenya’. “

The SPD had recently increased the pressure on the CDU. “We assume that Haseloff has a keen interest in keeping the coalition alive. Then he now has to clear up the mess and ensure that the government draft gets a majority, “Co-country chief Andreas Schmidt is quoted in a press release. At the same time, the Social Democrats propose to adopt a motion for a resolution with media policy goals – for example, the waiver of excessive managerial salaries and greater consideration of East Germany – together with the Approval Act.

The left-wing parliamentary group formulated such a motion for a resolution on Friday and wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister. It says: “We urge you to keep the firewall you postulated against the right!” In addition, from the perspective of the left, a failure of the State Broadcasting Treaty would harm Saxony-Anhalt in particular, as the MDR, as a central German regional broadcaster, has particularly lean structures.

It is uncertain whether the CDU will support such a compromise. The Conservatives apparently believe that they are addressing the soul of the people with a “No” to the radio contribution. According to an ARD survey, however, only 19 percent of Saxony-Anhalters consider public broadcasting to be dispensable, and a large majority are clearly in favor. Several interest groups and associations have also announced their support for radio, such as the German Farmers’ Union and the Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired.


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