Giffey: Competition with Jarasch was a bitter struggle

From BZ/dpa

Berlin’s Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) experienced the competition with the Greens’ top candidate Bettina Jarasch in the election campaign as tense and difficult.

“It is quite clear that from the time it became clear that there would be this repeat election, there was also a sometimes bitter fight over the question of who would take over the leadership of the Red Town Hall,” she said in the ZDF Talk show “Markus Lanz” on Thursday evening. “She wanted that last time too, she wanted the Greens to be the strongest force. From the moment it was clear that we had this repeat election, it was difficult to work together.”

The Senate work continued. “We are responsible for the city. That’s why we have to work together professionally,” said Giffey, who ran for the SPD as the top candidate. But of course it’s a tense situation when you’re campaigning at the same time – in the morning in the Senate session, in the evening at a panel discussion.

“I think it’s understandable that this isn’t an intimate relationship when you’re in such a competitive situation,” said Giffey. “And yet I would say that we did as well as we could under these difficult circumstances to get Berlin over this crisis-ridden situation. And that’s a success.”

Giffey kept a low profile on her plans for her own political future. She rejected speculation that she could become Federal Minister of the Interior. “It’s not up for debate at the moment,” she said when asked if she could imagine it.

“I think now it’s time for Berlin to need me. I would like to do something for my city, and the proposal for this is on the table,” said the Berlin SPD state chairwoman, referring to the coalition agreement that the CDU and SPD agreed on in the capital.

ZDF host Lanz interpreted her answer as follows: “Thank you for this very clear statement. Because everyone who knows the show a little bit now actually knows that that was a clear yes.” Giffey countered dryly: “I always find it exciting how you interpret things.”

When it was pointed out that the current Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser (SPD), could become prime minister in Hesse after the state elections in autumn and thus her previous position in the federal government, Giffey simply said: “I would also be happy for Hesse if there were no black-green alliance exists. You can imagine that.”

The SPD politician did not even respond to the comment as to why she would not become an interior senator in the planned black-red Senate. And even after persistently asking about the possible alternative of becoming a building senator in the next Berlin state government, Giffey was not carried away by any confirmation. “First of all, I’m the governing mayor,” she said, but at least added: “Housing construction is the city’s big question for the future.”