Green chancellor candidate: a turning point?
The leadership of Germany's The Greens party is sending Annalena Baerbock into the race for the chancellorship - making her the party's first ever chancellor candidate. Should the Greens lead the government after the general election in September, the 40-year-old would become chancellor. Commentators see the nomination as a sign of change. While criticising the established CDU/CSU and SPD parties, they also discuss what Baerbock actually stands for.
Definitely the new centre party now
Corriere della Sera's Berlin correspondent Paolo Valentino is full of hope:
“For the first time in their 40-year history, the Greens are aiming to lead Germany. They are doing so with the youngest ever candidate for chancellor, a woman who was born the same year the party was founded, and who in just three years has made it the new centre of gravity in German politics. ... They are doing all this with an impressive display of discipline and unity that only underscores the psychodrama unfolding in the CDU-CSU. This is the final leap into the centre of society.”
Boosted by the spirit of the times
The climate issue has added to the Greens' momentum, Die Presse comments:
“The fact that the Greens have put forward a chancellor candidate at all marks a turning point. Until now this was reserved for the established parties, the CDU/CSU and SPD. In the case of the Social Democrats, the attribute 'established' is less and less justified, and the Christian Democrats are doing everything they can to gamble away their reputation as the chancellor's party. ... The Greens are better than their competitors at reflecting the spirit of the times, also thanks to their awareness of the dangers of climate change. ... The Greens have done away with dogmas and have moved increasingly towards established attitudes. While they've lost their reputation as an alternative party, they're increasingly seen as an alternative to the CDU/CSU.”
No longer a party that's all about bans
Krytyka Polityczna discusses the Greens' changing image:
“Under the leadership of Baerbock and Habeck, the Greens have shifted away from being a party based on banning and prohibition. Instead of educating and forcibly moulding better people, they are reaching out to voters with better policies. Instead of making people feel bad, they want to reassure them. Are you afraid of a climate catastrophe? Are you not entirely satisfied with the carbon footprint you left behind on your holiday flight to Thailand? Are you worried about social inequality even though you are are doing well in life? Excellent, the Greens are the right party for you.”
An unknown quantity when it comes to European policy
Eric Bonse asks on his blog Lost in EUrope how Baerbock would position herself internationally if she became chancellor:
“After all, Baerbock once worked in the EU Parliament. But apparently she didn't make much of a mark there; she is not considered a tried and tested European politician. ... I also see a lack of statements on foreign policy. ... So we don't know what her plans on that front are. Nor do we know what her stance is on France, Italy or Hungary - all key issues of European policy. We don't really know anything - except that she has the confidence to do what she's doing. Why is that?”