SPD politicians demand “Plan B” from Scholz

Photo: Olaf Scholz in June 2024, via dts news agency

Berlin (dts) – Pressure is growing within the SPD on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to put the question of a coalition to the FDP if necessary and risk a break if the planned austerity budget for the coming year is to remain in place.

"We need a plan B if things get tough on July 3rd and Olaf Scholz cannot agree to 30 billion in savings, but Christian Lindner does not move either," said party leftist and Bundestag member Tim Klüssendorf to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". This is because the SPD will not be able to implement such an austerity budget. Going into the 2025 federal election year with an austerity course is being described internally as a "nail in the coffin", as another economic stimulus package for the AfD. Resistance is also growing significantly in the party presidium.

According to information from the SZ, a special meeting of the SPD executive committee has been scheduled for Sunday afternoon, while Scholz must find a solution to the 2025 federal budget with FDP leader and finance minister Christian Lindner and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens). Lindner is determined not to declare a new state of emergency or loosen the debt brake in any other way. On July 3, Scholz said, the new budget is to be approved by the cabinet - Scholz had clearly sided with Lindner, who is planning savings in the double-digit billion range.

But parts of the parliamentary group are now refusing to follow him. What is also new is that the SPD is openly criticizing the Chancellor more than ever before, for example in the parliamentary group meeting last Tuesday. The fact that he initially left the historically poor election result of 13,9 percent in the European elections uncommented, that he seemed disconnected from reality to MPs, and above all that he was unable to present any idea of ​​how this coalition should come together in terms of the budget and in general, is what is causing criticism, according to the report.

When analyzing the election, it is becoming increasingly clear that the mood was underestimated in view of the AfD's successes in the areas of migration and internal security. "We urgently need to have more money available not only for external security, but also for internal security," said Bundestag member Sebastian Fiedler to the SZ. He is a criminal investigator by profession. "The situation is very, very serious and the change of times must also be reflected in the Federal Police and the BKA."

The FDP must understand "that the curtailment of powers and a budget cut in the Interior Ministry pose a massive threat to our security." At the parliamentary group meeting in the presence of the Chancellor, he also pointed out the enormous increase in knife attacks and the high number of non-German suspects. In the field of criminal policy, the Union and AfD have the highest levels of competence. "The situation in the interior is much more dramatic than many people want to admit," said Fiedler.

The deputy parliamentary group leader Dirk Wiese calls for a tougher course in limiting migration and deportations and refers to the Danish model with tougher rules. Juso leader Philipp Türmer sharply attacked Wiese for this. Anyone who wants to give up their own values ​​should please follow Wiese. He told the SZ: "The issue of migration must be discussed without blinkers. With a view to the election results, especially among young people, I can only advise the Juso leader to be self-critical." The AfD had gained significantly among young voters.