In many areas, citizens have long since lost sight of normality. The traffic light coalition will soon need a progress bang if it wants to live up to its claim.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), in the background Lisa Paus (Greens)

The self-proclaimed progressive coalition has long since turned into a pragmatic alliance to prevent the worst, like many other coalitions before it.

(Photo: dpa)

Normal is when trains run on time, elections do not have to be repeated, freeways are not congested and much, much more. The list could go on for a long time.

But the citizens have not known this normality for a long time. Chancellor Olaf Scholz therefore hit a sore point when he pointed out in the general debate, with a view to Union faction leader Friedrich Merz, that the CDU and CSU have governed for the past 16 years. It hurts, but there’s no denying it.

In the last few years of her term in office, Chancellor Angela Merkel let domestic politics slide – and she didn’t do everything right in foreign policy either. Recently, Wolfgang Schäuble was rightly annoyed that the ex-Chancellor was unable to admit mistakes in her Russia policy. In view of the war of aggression against Ukraine, Scholz’s coalition must now correct its unilateral energy dependency in record time.

However, the comparison of Merz with “Alice in Wonderland” partly falls on Scholz’s own feet. For the fairytale character Alice, fantasy is the only weapon in the war against reality. Anyone who listened to the Chancellor’s government statement also needed a lot of imagination to reconcile it with reality.

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The self-proclaimed progressive coalition has long since turned into a pragmatic alliance to prevent the worst, like many other coalitions before it. There were always exceptions. Helmut Kohl proclaimed a spiritual and moral turn, the red-green alliance under Gerhard Schröder saw itself as a comprehensive reform project. The SPD, Greens and FDP, on the other hand, find nothing that really connects them.

>> Read here: “Anyone who believes that also believes in talking white rabbits” – Scholz compares Merz with Alice in Wonderland

It is true that Scholz, together with Finance Minister Christian Lindner and Economics Minister Robert Habeck, must steer the country through the biggest foreign policy crisis in decades. After the bazooka in the corona crisis, the chancellor has now unpacked the double boom to relieve the burden on citizens and the economy.

But almost a year after the start of government, the trains are still arriving late, the bridges continue to crumble and the expansion of renewable energies is progressing slowly. Progress in the digitization of administration and the expansion of the charging infrastructure for electric cars is still a snail.

In the general debate, Scholz emphasized that the coalition had already passed more than 100 laws. A shiver should have run down the spines of all those battered by the bureaucracy.

So what’s missing is a progress boom. If he doesn’t come, the citizen will soon feel like he’s in Wonderland.

More: Wolfgang Schäuble: “Germany’s reputation is badly damaged”

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