• Germany edition
SPD and Greens drop Berlin government talks
Wowereit (right) and Green representative Volker Ratzmann (far left). Photo: DPA

SPD and Greens drop Berlin government talks

Published: 05 Oct 2011 15:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Oct 2011 15:19 GMT+02:00

The failure of the coalition negotiations was announced less than an hour into the day’s talks, according to the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Mayor Klaus Wowereit’s SPD, which has governed the city state for the last decade, largely in coalition with the socialist Left party, remains intent on extending the A100 motorway around the capital. The Greens had included their opposition to it in their campaign for the September 18 state election.

“It is obviously not possible to bring the positions on the subject of the A100 into harmony,” said Wowereit.

The SPD had agreed to ditch the 3.2 kilometre A100 extension – if the €420 million of federal money already earmarked for it could be used for other transport infrastructure projects. But such a proposal was rejected by the federal authorities which said the money must be used for the road.

“We made clear compromise offers, but there comes a point where all discussions have to be ended,” said Michael Müller, chairman of the Berlin SPD. “We do not recognise willingness to compromise in the Greens.”

But the Greens said the SPD never seemed to have their hearts in the talks.

“It did not really fail on the A100,” said Bettina Jarasch, head of the Greens. “There was not really the will within the SPD to work together with us on a coalition.”

The Berliner Zeitung newspaper wrote on Wednesday that the left-wing of the SPD felt Wowereit and Müller had actually wanted to form a coalition with the CDU and had deliberately put the Greens in an impossible situation.

Müller had threatened to look towards the CDU at the weekend after the Greens had stuck to their opposition to the motorway extension. He had pointed out that the Red-Green coalition would only have a one-vote majority compared to the stable 10-vote majority which would be achieved in coalition with the CDU.

Wolfgang Thierse, the SPD’s deputy parliamentary president told the Tagesspiegel he was surprised and a little disappointed at the breakdown of talks.

Referring to the possibility of the SPD now forming a so-called grand coalition in the state with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which has black as its party colour, he said, “Just as Red-Green would not have been heaven for Berlin, Red-Black would not be hell.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:22 October 5, 2011 by auniquecorn
a three-kilometre stretch of motorway?

Maybe they need a kindergarden teacher in there to straighten the sh!t out.

acting worse than a bunch of kids.
22:15 October 5, 2011 by wolfer
Who is the cute woman?
08:43 October 6, 2011 by Englishted

All I know is it is not Mayor Klaus Wowereit¦#39;s girlfriend.


Your in a mild mood normally a comment on a subject like this would have been censured and removed.
09:58 October 6, 2011 by Keksi
Very sad. Berln has always been a last safehaven against CDU-reign. With Merkels current actions I hope the greens will give in and resume talking.

Also: The cutie is Ramona Pop ;)

Today's headlines
Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Town in shock as tax worker shot dead

Town in shock as tax worker shot dead

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd