• Germany's news in English

Merkel blasts new Rhineland coalition

DDP/The Local · 14 Jul 2010, 08:35

Published: 14 Jul 2010 08:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Social Democratic (SPD) leader in Germany's most populous state, Hannelore Kraft, is set to be elected as the head of the minority government in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens, against the opposition of the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP). The socialist Left party has said it would abstain in the vote.

The vote will end nine weeks of political shifting and deal-making since the state election produced no clear winner. Countless coalition combinations were discussed, but each ended in stalemate until the “red-green” minority government appeared to be the only option – albeit a weak one.

To pass legislation, the red-green coalition will need to scrape together some votes in the state parliament – either from its left or its right – meaning it will need to make deals or risk a parliamentary deadlock.

Chancellor Merkel told daily Rheinische Post that Kraft had repeatedly stressed during the campaign that the state needed a strong, stable government.

“Now she will start work by massively breaking her word. You can’t trust such a government,” Merkel said.

Merkel also blasted the red-green coalition’s plan to hike the amount of new debt the state would take on.

“That will ruin the finances of the state of NRW,” she said. “That has nothing to do with generational equity.”

Free Democrats leader and Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle told the Hamburger Abendblatt the coalition in the western state was a trial run for a coalition with the socialist Left party at the federal level – a controversial match given many voters are wary of the Left’s more radical national policies.

Story continues below…

“The debt coalition of SPD and Greens in Düsseldorf, supported by the Left party, will be a test run for Berlin.”

He added that the minority government could not expect the support of the FDP.

“The SPD and the Greens want (UK-style) comprehensive schools. That is not compatible with the Liberals’ position. We want a streamed education system (in which students are grouped according to academic ability),” he said.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd