• Germany's news in English
 

Your guide - the Green Party (Die Grünen)

The Local · 13 Sep 2013, 11:26

Published: 13 Sep 2013 11:26 GMT+02:00

Who are they?

The Green Party was formed in the 1970s on a platform of ecology, pacifism, and energy reform. They also count equal rights for ethnic minorities and disabled people among their core values. Despite being Europe's most successful environmental party, they are taking a battering in the polls.

Who's their leader?

Jürgen Trittin, 59, holds a degree in Social Sciences from Göttingen, and worked as a publicist, freelance journalist and as a lab assistant, before joining the Greens in 1980.

He entered the regional parliament of Lower Saxony in 1985, and later served as the region's minister for federal and European affairs.

When Schröder's red-green coalition took power in the Bundestag in 1998, Trittin was made minister of environment, nature protection and atomic safety, a post he held until they left office in 2005.

What's their strategy?

The Greens' main election policies correspond to those of the Social Democrats (SPD): the introduction of a minimum wage and measures to improve minimum working conditions, as well as replacing the currently ruling Union's child benefit policy with new state-run nurseries.

They campaign for these policies alongside their core values of prioritizing renewable energy and stamping out animal exploitation.

However, in a step beyond the SPD platform, they advocate reforming the healthcare system to address a perceived double standard between private and state healthcare, as well as radical reform of the tax system with fairness in mind.

This expansion from their traditional manifesto of ecological policies has not broadened support for Trittin's party. Since their peak of 28 percent in April 2011, the Greens recently dropped 17 points to 9 percent, their lowest score in four years.

Manfred Güllner, boss of pollsters the Forsa institute, attributes this slump to their departure from traditional green policies to issues like social inequality. "This issue doesn't fit with them", he said.

The Greens also provoked ridicule in August with plans to introduce a “Veggie Day” in canteens in which meat would be banned.

Why do they matter?

The Greens are polling at between nine and 11 percent and are likely coalition partners for the SPD, given their common policy aims and history of cooperation. This makes them important because without Green support, the SPD will either have to accept defeat or try and form a coalition with Merkel's Union.

MORE ELECTION GUIDES:

The Christian Democratic Party (CDU)

The Christian Social Union (CSU)

The Social Democratic Party (SPD)

The Free Democratic Party (FDP)

Alex Evans

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Robber threatens woman with “HIV syringe”
File photo: DPA

Robber threatens woman with “HIV syringe”

7 hours ago

A shocked woman in Munich called police on Sunday evening after a man climbed into her car, demanded her purse – and threatened her with a syringe he said contained HIV.

Day in court for first Loveparade tragedy case
Crosses adorn the stairs which festival-goers fought to reach to escape the crush. Photo: DPA

Day in court for first Loveparade tragedy case

8 hours ago

July 2015 marked five years since one of the worst tragedies in modern German history. But this week, those affected by the 2010 Duisburg Loveparade disaster will at last see the case come to court.

Refugee crisis tests EU's core ideals: Merkel
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Refugee crisis tests EU's core ideals: Merkel

8 hours ago

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said the refugee crisis facing Europe is testing the core ideals of universal rights at the heart of the European Union.

German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Going down with a bang. The splash diving championships 2015. Photo: DPA

German named 'arse bombing' world champ

11 hours ago

Summer went out with a bang - and a splash - in southwest Germany, where the finals of the "arse bombing“ world championship 2015 were held on Sunday.

Formula One
Rosberg 'overwhelmed' by birth of daughter
Formula One Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg with his wife Vivian. File photo: DPA

Rosberg 'overwhelmed' by birth of daughter

12 hours ago

Star Formula One driver Nico Rosberg confirmed on Monday that he and his wife Vivian are now the parents of a baby girl, saying the couple were “overwhelmed and totally in love”.

'No limit to refugees Germany can take in'
Refugees arrive at an intake centre. Photo: DPA

'No limit to refugees Germany can take in'

13 hours ago

Germany's top official dealing with refugees said on Monday that there was 'no upper limit' to Germany's capacity for taking in people in need of asylum.

Berlin orchestra's Tehran concert blocked by Iran
Daniel Barenboim. Photo: DPA

Berlin orchestra's Tehran concert blocked by Iran

15 hours ago

Iran has barred famed conductor Daniel Barenboim from entering the Islamic republic because of his Israeli citizenship, thwarting his plan to lead a performance in Tehran, media reported Sunday.

Bundesliga
Dortmund reclaim top spot with Hertha win
Borussia Dortmund celebrate scoring against Hertha Berlin. Photo:DPA

Dortmund reclaim top spot with Hertha win

15 hours ago

Borussia Dortmund reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga from Bayern Munich on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Hertha Berlin -- their eighth straight win under new coach Thomas Tuchel.

Germany's friendship vow to Afghanistan
Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Afghanistan on Sunday. Photo:DPA

Germany's friendship vow to Afghanistan

15 hours ago

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that German friendship with Afghanistan had "no end date" as he visited Kabul under tight security on Sunday.

Migrants crisis
German media and celebs rally for refugees
A welcome party for refugees in Heidenau on Friday. Photo: DPA

German media and celebs rally for refugees

1 day ago

Germany may have witnessed violent anti-refugee protests this week -- but the message from the country's media and celebrities is a loud and determined welcome for people fleeing the horrors of war.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
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

6,915
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd