The German Greens are losing their luster as the election heats up

In her last televised speech, Green nominee for Chancellor of the Greens, Annalena Baerbok, stood on an unusual crust, a raw steak, placed in front of her at the interviewer’s table. “Would he eat it?” He asked. “Will the Germans still be allowed to grill under the green chancellor?”

“Everyone can eat what they want in this country,” he told Berb Live with a laugh on Bild Live. “I really like barbecue. “Although I’m not sure if the steak fits on my barbecue.”

The exchange of half-jokes for the greens reflects a fresh image problem. They have been high in public opinion ever since Baerbock’s candidacy was announced in April for the 2021 parliamentary elections.

But a number of disputes ճ disputes are now defensive. Sometimes they even allow their opponents to raise the stereotype with which the Greens break the most difficult. Prohibition party, which roughly translates to a party that likes to ban things.

The interviewer’s steak question was an awkward reminder of one of the blunders of the eco-party since the 2013 parliamentary elections, when the Greens offered Veggie Day in the office cafeterias, which caused outrage among carnal Germans. They received nine percent of the vote.

For this September’s election, which marks the end of Angela Merkel’s 16 years in office, the Greens aim to do something different.

They praised themselves as: change engineswhich: inquiries suggest that the country’s electorate wants, in particular, a stronger climate policy. Baerbock also positioned the Greens so moderately that they attracted the main electorate from Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats to the center-left Social Democrats, who had long been the dominant force in German politics.

In the weeks following his candidacy, the Greens bypassed the CDU in polls, sometimes reaching a high of 28 percent. But their ratings slipped as Baerbock’s balancing act was shaken by the continuity of change.

Over the past two weeks, the party has made a number of mistakes that, while unlikely to oust them from the race, have taken their toll on the electorate, pointing to possible future challenges.

It all started with the news that Bauerbock had not been able to report to the Bundestag President on some of his income from the Green Party leadership until this March.

Baerbock has apologized for calling it a “stupid mistake” by comparing it to what happened recently. Corruption scandal of CDU mask purchasesl, the amount was relatively small – about 25,000 euros. For the Germans, however, it was not about money, but about the greens, not being able to meet their ethical standards.

“Because they put morality first in politics, they are now measured by that standard,” said Peter Matuszczek, chief analyst at the Forsa Research Institute.

He came a few days later Foreign Policy stumbled when party co-chair Robert Habek visited Ukraine and said the country needed “defensive weapons.” The pacifist base of the Greens loudly rejected it; it contradicts Germany’s strict arms policy. He later claimed that he meant collections such as nightgowns or mine detection equipment.

Another mistake of Baerbock was to say to the leading German tabloid: picture:, otherwise there should be no short-haul flights. He meant that domestic flights should be replaced by train journeys. But in a country obsessed with high-speed flights to Mallorca, Spain, a popular holiday destination, the damage was done.

Leading pro-free Democrat Marco Bushman called it a “classic example of a green ban fetish.” CDUs Armin LashchetHis main electoral rival says. “In everything where they want to have a populist influence, they call for a ban.”

The Greens’ main strategy at the moment is to stay calm, says Arnegjunjohan, an analyst at the Heinrich B Հll Foundation affiliated with the Greens. “Baerbock needs to show that it can handle the heat.”

Just a month ago, when Baerbock’s nomination caused a stir in the news, the cover of a news magazine Spiegel: It featured a smiling Baerbok with his hands on his back. “Woman for all seasons.” Unlike last week Spiegel ‘On the cover was a cartoon of Baerbock և Habeck with a sunflower in his hand, the Green Icon, blown by the wind. “Welcome to reality,” it says.

University of Trier political scientist Uwe Jun un says Greens’ position, which is now four percent behind the CDU, is 21.5 percent. Insa’s latest poll, not as bad as pictured. He said the last fall of the Greens was expected after the initial growth of Baerbock. “I do not think that their ability to govern in the next coalition is in difficulty,” he said.

However, the Greens are growing in interest among the public as to whether they can govern, said Ursula Munich, director of the Academy of Political Education in Tutzing, Bavaria. More aggressive attacks will appear on harder counterattacks than insisting on barbecuing.

Munich expects the Greens to fight the criticism of their job-raising և 500,000 ambitious spending plan.

The Greens want to finance it by lifting Germany’s debt ban, but the law is enshrined in the Constitution, requiring a two-thirds majority in parliament and the Senate to amend it, which is almost impossible given the likely outcome of an election in which no party would have a majority.

“They will have to admit that they do not really know how to finance it. So, I think the problems in that respect have just started, “he said.

Regardless of whether the party can move forward, the idea of ​​a Green candidate for chancellor has, in fact, become a central factor in the German election: whether voters are for or against Baerbok.

“There will be those who say, ‘We want a policy change, we want a green chancellor,’ and others will say, ‘We want to avoid a green, inexperienced chancellor at all costs,'” Munich said. “This is an interesting position for the Greens. They can say: “Everything depends on us.”

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