Left-wing greens on jamaica exit: “we are spared the acid test”.

Berlin MP Canan Bayram was not surprised by the Jamaica ending. She announces a debate on the concessions made by the Green negotiators.

"Lid, frame and other unspeakable words": Canan Bayram, here with her predecessor Christian Strobele Photo: dpa

site: Ms. Bayram, the FDP has let the Jamaica explorations fall through. Are you relieved or flabbergasted?

Canan Bayram: Let’s put it this way: I wasn’t surprised.

So you are somehow relieved? After all, you already said in the run-up to the exploratory talks that you would not vote for a Jamaica coalition. Now you don’t even have this conflict of conscience.

That’s not a category for me. I simply didn’t believe until the very end that Jamaica would happen. Relieved would mean that I feared it. And even if there had been an agreement in the exploratory talks, I would have had grave doubts as to whether this broad concession by our leading candidates would have found any support at all in the party.

We are talking about highly elastic formulations such as the one that an upper limit for refugees of 200,000 would apply as a "breathing framework."

Right. "Lid," "framework," and other unspeakable words. Since the latest exploratory paper was leaked, things have been going on in the party. That’s why I was more in the mood: the impossible is being attempted here and it won’t work.

Was that due to the FDP?

Recently, it became increasingly clear in the parliamentary group that the FDP is a factor of uncertainty: When we talked about FDP positions on domestic or legal policy, it was often said that their position was unclear. But it has become clear that the party has strengthened its national-liberal wing during its parliamentary sabbatical in recent years. I also experience this as a member of the Berlin House of Representatives with the Berlin FDP.

Born in 1966, is the only directly elected Green member of the Bundestag nationwide. The interior politician narrowly defended Christian Strobele’s former constituency of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg against the Left Party candidate in September.

For the left-wing Greens, the breakup by the FDP is the best solution: Jamaica is not coming, and the fault lies with the FDP, not the Greens.

That has spared the party a test of strength. The federal party conference on Saturday would have been very difficult for many. But the internal party debate will still take place in certain parts. There will have to be a discussion about the extent to which the Green negotiators overstepped their mandate.

You’ve just come from a meeting of the left wing of the Green Party. What was the mood like there?

Let’s put it this way: There is a need for clarification in many respects.

After all, Jamaica would have led to the absurd situation of the Greens governing with conservative forces in the federal government, but with left-wing forces in the state of Berlin.

"For the red-red-green coalition in Berlin, Jamaica would have been more of an opponent."

Especially from a Berlin perspective, the conflicts would have been very tough. After all, I can see what demands we have on the federal government to implement our red-red-green projects here. Jamaica would have been more of an opponent than a partner.

What do you think will happen now in the federal government?

The failure of Jamaica gives the federal president a prominent role. And this president is not just anyone: Frank-Walter Steinmeier was once the SPD’s top candidate. The Social Democrats must now define for themselves which government they want to oppose in the future. The Basic Law does not make it easy for us members of parliament to find the way to new elections. So it’s likely that the current caretaker government will continue to exist for the time being. I believe that the Social Democrats will have to take another close look at their role in the current constellation – with all due understanding for their longing for opposition.

What about a minority government?

Even before Jamaica, I mentioned this as an idea. One option would have been to have the CDU/CSU and FDP form the government and look for alternating majorities. But in the current situation, it would only be the CDU/CSU that would have to form the government.

The Greens and the CDU/CSU didn’t get along so badly in the exploratory talks …

That was not my impression.

You don’t think the two can still come together?

We were also told in caucus meetings that it’s the CDU that’s putting the brakes on climate protection and that wants to show us up to the hilt when it comes to migration. After the exploratory talks broke down, everyone scolded whoever left the table. But you can’t say now that it was only the FDP that refused to do anything. That would fall short.

Finally, a substantive question: As far as the controversial issue of family reunification for refugees with so-called subsidiary protection is concerned, the end of the exploratory talks is a good thing. The suspension for two years will expire in spring 2018, right?

Exactly. Starting in March. That is regulated in Section 104 of the Residence Act. I found it remarkable that our negotiators did not convey that it is not about us Greens wanting something – namely family reunification. Rather, the others wanted us to give our consent to the extension of this inhumane regulation – the suspension of family reunification.

So the provision will expire?

The SPD has also said that they would no longer agree to such a suspension. On this issue, the CDU/CSU really only has the FDP and the AfD on its side in the Bundestag. It would be a breach of taboo if this provision were extended with the votes of these three groups.

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