A coalition (from Middle Latin "coalitio": growing together, unification) is a temporary alliance of political parties. They form a coalition with each other to form a stable government. You have to look at the Wikipedia definition these days because the traffic light coalition simply no longer embodies the definition. The fact that this is a temporary alliance can certainly be felt every day in Berlin. But what about features like “merger” and “stable”? One no longer expects this government to portray itself as a progressive alliance in selfies, as it did in the magic of its beginning. But couldn't it at least not be a coalition against each other?
The days of chaos since the Federal Constitutional Court's ruling, which tore a €60 billion hole in the budget, show the distortions. Within the government, the division of labor apparently works like this: Chancellor Scholz either says nothing or he openly mocks his silence, for example during an appearance at the digital summit: "It would of course be exciting for you if you could turn on something here with me, and I would give you mine Disclosing my thoughts or the exchanges I have with Mr. Habeck and Mr. Lindner and Mr. Wissing. But we'll keep that to ourselves." Ah yes.
Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, on the other hand, doesn't stop talking and lets the whole world share in his pain about the evil opposition and probably also the ungrateful people. Why don't voters finally understand, as Habeck interprets, what good the traffic light wants?
And FDP leader Christian Lindner? He is under pressure in his party, which is despairing of this alliance because of poor poll numbers. He is under public pressure because drawing up the federal budget is his area of responsibility as finance minister. And he is under pressure because a sentence from his own past catches up with him: Would it be better not to govern than to govern incorrectly? So is Lindner blowing up this traffic light coalition - or is he clinging to it because there is no alternative power? This is what the cover story of our Berlin office revolves around.
By the way, if the Christian Democrats around Friedrich Merz should now rejoice too loudly, a little arithmetic is recommended. It is quite possible that the Union will appoint the next chancellor given the traffic light malaise. But what scope, especially financially, would this have? Today's cheerful opposition leader Merz could be tomorrow's desperate chancellor.
Our author Moritz Gathmann has been writing about Ukraine for many years, he has traveled to the country often, and he observes the conflict with an alert mind and heart. That's why he published a comment on Deutschlandfunk last weekend in which he argued - quite pointedly - that we would be doing the Ukrainians a disservice if we continued to tell them about the victory. It was a factual plea for more realism. The hatred on the internet then erupted against Gathmann in a very unobjective manner.
I could write a lot about why it's bad when we can no longer argue without falling out. But I'll simply quote our colleague and Ukraine expert Paul Ronzheimer, who writes on / under what circumstances the war in Ukraine can or should end, it is important to hear different perspectives. Moritz speaks the language, has already reported on the Maidan and has been to the front many times, both since 2014, but just also since 2022. It's not fair how he is insulted by some here. Read his pieces, e.g. in Stern, carefully, it's worth it."
I can only agree with this recommendation.