On Sunday Germany's Social Democrats voted in favour of another grand coalition with Angela Merkel's centre-right party, the so-called 'Grosse Koalition' (GroKo), clearing the way for a new government to take office by mid-March. Around 66 per cent of SPD's members voted in favour of the grand coalition while back in 2013, 75 per cent of members were favourable of the deal.
Christian Lindner, leader of our German member party FDP, reacted to the Grosse Koalition agreement: "I show respect to SPD's 'yes' to the continuation of the grand coalition, but I would have been very surprised if the party had turned down a coalition deal that features 70% of SPD policies. We are looking forward to doing smart opposition politics.”
Lindner also added: "This grand coalition will not advance the country. The key issues of strenghtening our education system, boosting competitiveness and reducing bureaucracy will not be tackled by the new government. They lack the strength to give the country a real direction, there is no trace of moving on or dynamism. The renewal will continue to wait." He also said that he wished that the German Federal Government would be as ambitious as the one in France.
Now FDP will take on the role of the opposition and, where necessary, call for changes. "The present issue of our country is that there is no guarantee for the future, we need to invest now in education, digitalisation and infrastructure," Lindner added.
FDP will now focus on content and a long-term strategy.
FDP's Secretary General Nicola Beer described the result as "expectable." "The party is more afraid of new elections than of further marginalisation in a new coalition," she added.
More details on FDP's reaction to the GroKo can be found on FDP's website.