It’s hard to keep track of what Germany’s grand coalition is currently fighting about – even for Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.
Mr. Gabriel, the economics minister and head of the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), needs to keep a list of SPD projects stymied by the majority Christian Democrats. They range from workplace laws to building north-south power lines for the country’s energy transition, which has been blocked by Horst Seehofer, head of the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.
No one knows if Chancellor Angela Merkel is keeping a similar list of CDU projects blocked by Social Democrats, the coalition’s minority partner. Perhaps top of her list would be Mr. Gabriel’s stubborn refusal to lower the solidarity tax. The tax was first introduced in 1991 to finance Germany’s participation in the Second Gulf War, and re-introduced in 1995 to finance eastern states.
In any case, the mood in the governing coalition is reaching its lowest ebb, with a new conflict flaring up every day.