Zoff-closure of the traffic light! Scholz fights against bad air in the castle

By Hans-Joerg Vehlewald

The bosses wave from the magnificent entrance portal, the climate minister trudges into the castle in jogging gear – cabinet retreat of the traffic light government at Meseberg Castle near Berlin!

The traffic light coalition meets for two days and wants to clear up controversial issues. On Sunday, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen opened the talks on the “turning point” as “dear Ursula” (Chancellor Scholz).

Scholz tried to build trust in advance: It’s about how a society can “remain confident”. Germany and Europe would have to “survive in global competition”. This also includes “making good use of the migration of skilled workers to Europe”.

Von der Leyen promised to talk about US subsidies (“Inflation Reduction Act”) during his visit to the US later in the week and to urge that Europe’s auto industry continue to have access to the US market.

Then it was down to business – thick air in the castle.

“We have a lot of plans to lead our country into the future,” emphasized Scholz after day one of the cabinet meeting. That involves a lot of changes. “And that’s why it’s also completely normal that these many steps that go with it are discussed very intensively.”
The traffic light issues

Household: Finance Minister Lindner is planning more money for the Bundeswehr, but does not want any tax increases. It is questionable which departments should accept cuts.

Energy: Combustion cars, oil and gas heating are off – the Greens and FDP in particular are bickering about this.

Traffic: Motorway expansion, speed limits – here, too, the FDP and the Greens are clashing head-on. Chancellor Scholz must mediate.

On Monday, the topics of energy transition, data policy and artificial intelligence are on the official agenda. A regular cabinet meeting is also to be held.