The national vote is expected to propel the Greens into government for the first time since 2005 — either as junior partner to the CDU/CSU or even as the leader of a so-called “traffic light coalition” with the Social Democrats (red) and the liberal Free Democrats (yellow). The Baden-Württemberg poll — and another today in neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate — are the first key indicators of what lies ahead. Tucked in the southwest corner of Germany between France and Switzerland, Baden-Württemberg is at first sight an unlikely Green stronghold. The state is home to Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, and hundreds of thousands of jobs in the area around Stuttgart, the state capital, depend on the car industry. But in 2011, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Kretschmann became Germany’s first — and so far only — Green state premier after running on a platform to shut nuclear plants, impose speed limits on the autobahn and reform an elitist school system. He was re-elected five years later after his party’s share of the vote surged to a record 30 per cent.
Times 14th March 2021 read more »