Magdeburg (AP) – Shortly before a groundbreaking vote on the new state treaty on broadcasting, the black-red-green coalition in Saxony-Anhalt is looking for ways to get out of their deadlocked dispute.
The SPD and the Greens want to contribute to the premium increase – coalition partner CDU wants to prevent the increase by 86 cents, just like the AfD. Should the Conservatives strengthen their position with the help of the AfD, the SPD and Greens could leave the coalition in protest. Today, the coalition commission is discussing the next steps for the governmental alliance. On Wednesday, the media commission will present its opinion for the state parliament, which is considered groundbreaking for the vote in the state parliament in mid-December.
In order not to have to vote together with the AfD, but still prevent a premium increase in the election year 2021, the CDU wants to circumvent the state parliament in the decision. According to information from dpa, the group wants to submit a proposal to the media commission based on proposals from the state chancellery. The proposals were submitted to the dpa, previously “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” and “Spiegel” reported on it.
It refers, among other things, to the fact that the database for the premium adjustment is no longer meaningful due to the unexpected corona pandemic. The state government is therefore asked to work towards an additional report in the broadcasting committee of the federal states and to initiate renegotiations on whether a deviation from the 18.36 euro proves necessary.
The group wants all of this to be understood as an offer to the coalition partners. But given that the premium hike on January 1 would not go ahead for the time being, but the SPD and the Greens want to support it, the agreement of the two junior partners of the CDU is questionable. Neither the Greens nor the SPD knew about the CDU filing Monday night.
CDU boss Holger Stahlknecht saw the two responsible parties after the proposal of the state chancellery and the CDU faction. “Subject to the approval of the CDU group, the ball is now with the coalition partners,” said Stahlknecht of the dpa. “I assume they are aware of their responsibility to the country and do not question the coalition.”
Given the national dimension of the decision, federal politicians from the SPD and the Greens sharply criticized the attitude of the CDU of Saxony-Anhalt. On Tuesday, the federal political director of the Greens, Michael Kellner, called on the CDU to agree to the premium increase. “If the CDU prefers a common goal with the AfD’s constitutional enemies on such a central democratic issue, rather than bolstering the public broadcaster, the Union will leave the Kenyan coalition business base,” said Kellner against the editorial network Germany.
Criticism also came from the Union. “It is regrettable that there is now back and forth discussions about the radio contribution,” said Bavarian media minister Florian Herrmann of the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Tuesday). “Bavaria supports the compromise found and deems the adjustment of the contribution by 86 cents appropriate and necessary,” said the paper’s CSU politician.
The AfD state, on the other hand, reinforced the CDU in its rejection and again called on the party to stick with it. “We as AfD are ready to help the CDU vote against the increase in the license fee and lead by example,” said Group Chairman Oliver Kirchner. The media policy spokesman for the AfD parliamentary group, Tobis Rausch, also offered assistance to the CDU in case the coalition broke over the dispute. “A CDU minority government six months before state elections would be a conceivable and sustainable alternative,” said Rausch. The CDU and AfD are the two largest parliamentary groups in the Magdeburg state parliament and together have 51 of the 87 seats in the House of Representatives.
The CDU of Saxony-Anhalt is the only parliamentary group in the Union that does not want to agree to the increase. All other 15 state parliaments want to ratify the state treaty, most have already done so. However, the approval of all countries is required for the contribution to take effect on January 1. The fee for the radio license is the main source of income for ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio.