One Year 'Ampel'
On December 7, 2021, a visibly relaxed group of politicians strolls into Berlin’s Westhafen and signs the coalition agreement between the SPD, Grüne and FDP, which was negotiated on a tight schedule. They want to “overcome the status quo”, be the “climate government” and – according to the basic motto – “dare to make more progress”.
Since the start, however, the government has been in a constant state of emergency. February 24th, Russia’s attack on Ukraine, quickly and largely rendered the coalition agreement null and void. Instead, the coalition parties struggle to find the right stance and the right action in this crisis.
The parties are being forced to throw basic convictions that have been cherished for decades overboard. The Grünen economy minister must organize for nuclear power plants to run longer and for liquefied natural gas to be landed on the coast. The FDP Finance Minister takes on record levels of debt and seeks new billions for relief packages. The SPD Chancellor wants to massively rearm the German armed forces and the SPD as a whole can hardly admit to itself that its own traditional Russia policy has led to a brutal war.
Meanwhile, ecological crises are escalating in the shadows.
The authors Bernd Benthin and Lars Seefeldt accompany key players from the ‘Ampel’ parties through this breathlessly exhausting and unprecedented first year of government.
A coalition at war – a year of coalition up-close.