A demolitionist, a plumber – and not a bit of housework

A demolitionist, a plumber – and not a bit of housework

The traffic light coalition has no money and no time. Whether she has a future at all will be decided in the coming days.What’s going on in Berlin again?

“The capital” the newsletter from the Berlin stern office. Every week with the most important assessments from the editorial team.

Dear readers,

The Union accused the federal government of “failure across the board” in the budget debate. The Chancellor can only hope for their approval “if labor market reform laws are passed at the same time,” demanded parliamentary group vice-president Friedrich Merz.

Wait a minute, Vice? Yes, of course, to look everything up in the . Almost exactly 20 years later, Friedrich Merz, now CDU leader and opposition leader, is calling for something very similar: the abolition of citizens’ money and a return to “promoting and demanding”. What sounds like the reintroduction of Hartz IV would be just one of several conditions that Merz wants the Chancellor to meet before the Union would agree to any traffic light budgets.

In case you missed it: Of course there is still not a bit of a budget, at least not a constitutional one. There is only one “plumber of power” (Merz about Scholz), who actually did not make a government statement yesterday, but instead refused to give a statement for 25 minutes. As a citizen, you would slowly like to know what to do next, but instead you only learned two things:

  1. Even two weeks after the devastating verdict from Karlsruhe, Olaf Scholz has no plan B.

  2. Olaf Scholz cannot apologize for his own mistakes. He thinks this is unnecessary because:

  3. As always, Olaf Scholz did everything right.

The high and Lowlights You can find out more about the debate in our read again.

For my colleague Veit Medick By the way, the exchange of blows was a real turning point. Since yesterday it has been clear to him: .And he advises his comrades to stop relying solely on Merz to defuse himself sooner or later.

The traffic light wants to discuss what will happen next with the 2024 budget this evening. Get your caffeine tablets ready, it’s that time again: Coalition Committee. My colleague Florian has everything you need to know about it Shillat summarized for you.


The Bundestag debate had already been running for more than 70 minutes when his name was mentioned for the first time: Christian Lindner. Amazing, after all, it was the Federal Minister of Finance who approved the budget. Lindner now has a lot of pressure – from all sides. Scholz fears for his chancellorship, Habeck fears for his promise of transformation, Merz is constantly telling him off anyway – and to make matters worse, the liberal base is currently rehearsing an uprising.

Lindner has always proven to be quite resistant to pressure in the past. In 2017 he canceled the Jamaica probe. In interviews in 2023 he will say such disturbing sentences as: “My concern is: to clear the air.”

For us, the Federal Minister of Finance is: the demolition expert.

Cover of the current stern issue “The Explosive Master”

The actual star-Cover story written by my colleagues Benedikt Becker and Veit Medick read by the way .

If you’re still wondering why on earth these liberals are so stubborn, I have two more recommendations for you. We tried to approach the answer from two sides:

From above: Together with Benedikt Becker, I spoke to FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr. Conclusion:

And from below: My colleague Lisa Becke visited the man in Fulda who collected the 500 signatures that were needed to push through a member survey. The question is: Should the FDP stay in the traffic lights – or should it let the coalition collapse? Click here for the portrait of Mathias Nölke .


Are we Germans actually “warworthy”? Defense Minister Boris Pistorius recently raised the question. Veit Medick and I spoke about this with the political scientist Herfried Münkler. His answers sometimes took our breath away.

Normally you also read what at this point star-Politics chief Nico Fried writes in his new column that today, as an exception, you can also see him. Fried met Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during his visit to the almost completely destroyed kibbutz Be’eri accompanied – and brought along.


Your highlight of the week

…of course comes from the “household” area. It’s this one my colleague Miriam Hollstein about the expulsion of the Finance State Secretary: “Lindner is firing Gatzer – this expulsion can have bad consequences for the coalition.”

My highlight of the week

… is the dispute between the CDU leader Merz and the Berlin governor Kai Wegner, also CDU. First, Wegner is the first to bring Merz’s debt brake policy into effect . And when the Bundestag dismissed the initiative as the individual opinion of a mayor, . Is there a feud brewing?

Have a nice week and at least you stay peaceful!

Jan Rosenkranz

PS: Are you on the “debt brake” team or are you on the “budget emergency” team? And how did you like the newsletter anyway? Write to me: . Or you recommend us..

Source: Stern

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