• Germany's news in English

SPD and Greens drop Berlin government talks

The Local · 5 Oct 2011, 15:19

Published: 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.

Story continues below…

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)

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
The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

15 pics that prove Germany is totally enchanting in autumn
The Max-Eyth-See in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

As summer fades into a distant memory and you start to begrudge trading Birkenstocks for boots, these pictures may help change your perspective on the new chill in the air.

Left politician who smuggled refugee could lose immunity
Diether Dehm. Photo: DPA.

Die Linke (Left Party) politician Diether Dehm could lose his immunity as an elected official after he admitted to smuggling a refugee into Germany.

Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record in Berlin marathon win
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
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
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd