Where the new SPD leaders are right

Anyone who reads the German press might think that there has been a massive shift to the left in the SPD – and that this also makes the EU partners nervous. But Esken and Walter-Borjan are absolutely right on some points, at least from a European point of view.

This applies above all to economic policy. The EU Commission has just spoken out again in favour of higher investments in Germany – the new SPD double leadership says nothing else.

Esken and Walter-Borjans want to overturn the dogma of the black zero in favour of more investment. No problem for Brussels – this dogma does not exist at all at EU level.

In fact, as SPON notes, the two designated SPD leaders even find themselves in the best of company. Many economists also argue that the state should use the low interest rates to incur new debts for investments. This is even a consensus across Europe – from the EU Commission to the ECB.

There is also no contradiction with Brussels regarding the minimum wage. At 12 euros, Germany would still be in the upper midfield, but not at the top. The new EU Commission is sympathetic to this.

And when it comes to climate protection, the new top comrades in Brussels are already breaking in open doors. From an EU perspective, Germany cannot do enough; a higher base price for CO2 would not be a problem.

And why then do we hear and read that our partners in the EU are worried? Well, that’s mainly because Esken and Walter-Borjan are completely unknown abroad.

In Brussels or Paris, of course, it would have been better if Finance Minister Scholz had taken over the leadership of the SPD – you know him, you can calculate him.

But there is another reason: many EU politicians still rely on Chancellor Merkel and her GroKo. They are regarded as anchors of stability – even if they stand for standstill in European politics.

In view of the inexperienced new EU leadership and the approaching German Council Presidency from July 2020, one would not want to do without the “proven” Chancellor.

Yet so far Merkel has been challenged above all by the CSU – recently also by the turmoil in the CDU. Her problem is not so much the new SPD leadership as her own leadership weakness …

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator