German election could lead to "collision" in coalition government
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Germans take to the polls today to vote in their new Government. Popularity for Die Linke has been growing, many now think the far-left group could even form the next coalition Government. Why do they want to scrap NATO and what could this mean for the west’s security?
Die Linke has publicly called for the NATO alliance to be scrapped.
Its election campaign has centred around this and on reforming social care.
The party may have no realistic chance of winning the elations, but many think they could be asked to form a left-wing coalition.
If they are asked to help form the next government with the SPD, they will have serious influence over Germany’s defence policies.
What are Die Linke plans for Germany’s foreign policy?
Die Linke has said they want to seriously scale back Germany’s military and their commitment to NATO.
Die Linke’s co-leader Janine Wissler said in a TV debate on September 13 that she wants to get rid of NATO.
She explained her plans see NATO replaced with a broader alliance containing Russia.
The party wants to end all foreign deployments of Germany’s military and has also spoken in favour of ending all arms exports.
NATO – or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance between 28 European countries and two North American countries.
Also known as North Atlantic Treaty it “promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.”
If Die Linke form a coalition with SPD what will this mean for NATO?
Although Die Linke has radical plans to scale back Germany’s military commitments, they won’t be able to get rid of NATO.
The SPD has shown no support for Die Linke’s plans to scrap NATO.
As the SPD would have a far larger majority in parliament, they would ultimately have a far greater say in policy matters.
What else is Die Linke promising if they get into power?
As well as controversial defence policies, the far-left party have also promised to tackle climate change.
Die Linke wants to focus on renewable energy and phase out coal use in Germany by 2030.
They plan to make the country “climate-neutral” by 2035.
The party wants to see local public transport made free for all and to reduce the cost of train travel to encourage Germans to use public transport over cars.
Die Linke also advocates a ban on domestic flights of less than 500 kilometres (310 miles).
Reforming social care is another major policy concern for the party.
They want to expand nursing staff numbers by 200,000 in hospitals and nursing homes and to see pay rises for health care workers.
The party also wants to see hospital and care groups turned over to public ownership.
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