German businessmen are optimistic about a possible tripartite alliance

If Reinhold von Eben-Worley gets his wish, it will soon be his first three-party ruling coalition in Germany এবং and it will work.

It could be a pipe dream. But von Eben-Worley, head of the 170-year-old raw material supplier, believes there is a real opportunity for Germany today to change gears after the two major parties are stuck in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “grand alliance”. Failed to address the biggest challenge in the country.

Echoing the views of a dozen business leaders on the advice of the Financial Times, Eben-Worley calculates that Greens and liberal-free Democrats যায় widely seen as the makers of a new political king দেবে will bridge their differences between debt and taxes, and a platform that is one of their two major parties. Leads to power.

“New problems are coming to the table that has gone through the grand coalition,” said Von Eben-Worley, who is also president. Family Entrepreneurs, An association representing the family business. He stressed that the next government would expect to “see the economy as a sustainable partner, not as an adversary and not as a learner”.

All German officials told the FT that they were happy that the extremist left and right parties had not advanced further.

Henkel chief executive Kirsten Nobel is happy with the election to strengthen the political center Handout

“I’m glad voters have strengthened the political center and weakened parties at every corner of the political spectrum,” said Kirsten Noble, chief executive of Henkel, a manufacturer of parcel washing liquids and locketite glue.

Some were relieved to see the Grand Alliance back, which had joined Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats with the Bavarian Christian Social Union and the left-wing Social Democrats.

However, they expressed concern that the outcome of the by-elections could create a chaotic and inconsistent coalition, possibly led by SDP’s Olaf Schulz, that Merkel failed to address after years of stagnant government investment, especially the combined challenges of climate change and digitization.

“Germany’s future economic model is at risk,” said Oliver Bate, chief executive of Allianz, calling for a “true transformation” that combines digital innovation and decarbonization.

Recent German experience suggests a tripartite alliance is inauspicious. In 2017, many business leaders strongly condemned FDP boss Christian Lindner for leaving the alliance talks with the CDU / CSU and the Greens.

At the time, Ingo Kramer, president of the Confederation of German Employers Association, called Lindner’s move “shameful” and criticized the liberal leader for failing to “take charge of the country.”

Today, however, CEOs are more confident that business liberals will play a more constructive role and curb the tax-spending and interventionist tendencies of more left-wing elements of the Greens and Social Democrats, and support measures to tackle climate change.

“I hope Greens will lead the government in the right direction, while liberals will focus on the free market,” said Henrik Folman, the third generation in his family, to run his well-known chemical group.

Even in Germany’s industrial hub, there is strong support for rapid change towards green and more modern economies.

Herbert Dice, chief executive of carmaker Volkswagen, poses in a car

Herbert Dice, chief executive of carmaker Volkswagen, said in an ID in: “Only practical steps can lead to decarbonization” ©WolfgangRate / Reuters

Herbert Dice, chief executive of Volkswagen, which is spending ৫ 5 billion to build electric vehicles, this week called on Germany to raise its CO2 price from € 25 per tonne to 65 65 per tonne by 2024. This is more than a green proclamation. Commitment to CO2 price of 2 60 Euros by 2023.

Criticizing Germany’s energy mix and calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, Dice said “only practical steps can move decarbonization forward.” Dice called on lawmakers to “bring forward the coal phase now,” which is currently planned for 2038.

Christian Bruch, chief executive of Siemens Energy, which has a large fossil fuel business, took a more subtle approach. Any increase in CO2 prices must “find a balance between what our industry can handle and what changes it can bring,” he said.

“Public investment can be a trigger,” Bruch said. But companies also need “clear terms of investment. . . To invest money in sectors like wind power and conduction.

Owners of Mittelstand companies, which form the basis of German industry, want more investment, especially in digital infrastructure: the country’s high-speed broadband is patched, and the public sector often communicates via fax.

On Wednesday, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry reported that 61 percent of the 3,500 companies surveyed identified digitization as a priority.

“Germany as a place of business is losing its appeal,” said Klaus Fischer, owner of the Fisher Group, which manufactures wall plugs and car parts near Stuttgart. “Citizens wanted change in many areas, such as education, climate protection or even foreign policy. The CDU did not recognize it and has now received a bill for it.

The million-euro question remains whether the stable and focused three-way alliance that German businessmen expect will actually happen, and then be able to deliver all these changes. After all, the country has never had such an alliance before.

Henkel’s Nobel said: “It will not be easy to negotiate because of their isolated positions during the negotiation process, especially when it comes to balancing the need for climate action with ensuring the competitiveness of German industry.”

Stefan Wolf, chief executive of car parts maker Elrinklinger, added that he “preferred only two parties that could form an alliance”. “There are some risks,” he said [of political instability] And we have seen that they have this big alliance with other countries. “

To date, Germany’s political system has been “extremely effective in providing stability, but not so good in taking decisive action”, warned Clemens Fouest, head of the IFO Institute in Munich, which conducts a benchmark monthly survey of the country’s business.

Additional report by Erica Solomon in Berlin

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