Germany: The Green Party Flaunts Its Pro-NATO, Atlanticist Views

There are a number of scenarios now circulating in Germany as to what the next federal government will look like if the Green Party effectively wins the chancellorship. In addition a possible coalition with the CDU-CSU, the option of a tripartite coalition with the SPD and the Left (Linke) is also being discussed, but given the pro-NATO views of chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock, that seems quite unlikely at this point.

Robert Habeck, the co-chairman with Baerbock of the Green party, said on May 7 that any such coalition would require the Linke to prove its commitment to NATO. And the party’s foreign policy spokesman Cem Özdemir told the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily of May 12 that the Linke party would have to clarify its position on dictatorships: if it continued to see Putin as a “nice neighbor”, it could not be considered a potential coalition partner. A measuring rod for the Greens, according to Özdemir, is the issue of Nord Stream 2 and the role of Vladimir Putin and other “authoritarian rulers”. He stated clearly that “We are in the tradition of German foreign policy as far as the ties to the West are concerned”,

A similar line came from Joschka Fischer, former German Foreign Minister from 1998 to 2005 and a staunch atlanticist. He told the private television station ntv that such a coalition is not “a serious option”. The Linke “is split between the West and romantic dreams about Russia and Putin… The same is true for their position on Israel, this is not negotiable.“ The latter referred to the pro-Palestinian views of the leftist party.

In response to Habeck’s remarks, former Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine (1998-1999), a senior Linke figure, shot back immediately in a Facebook posting: “The fact that the Greens, in the wake of the USA, advocate a course of confrontation with Russia and want to make wars contrary to international law possible without a UN mandate” disquali fied them from any coalition with the Linke, which clearly denounce such wars.

And Sahra Wagenkecht, former chairwoman of the Linke’s Bundestag group who is still influent in the left-wing, weighed in in an assessment for Focus on May 7, reminding voters that the last time the Greens were in the national government, from1998 to 2005, they supported German participation in wars in violation of international law (for instance against Serbia in 1999 and Afghanistan 2001). She particularly warned about Baerbock’s call to “increase the pressure on Russia” and impose harsher sanctions, pointing out that she also favors “robust European military interventions abroad,”, which covers up the fact “that hardly any of the western wars from Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya has made the world a better place.”

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