Cardboard stools for VIPs, organic apple juice offered to onlookers and party-colored masks distributed to participants: without show off, the campaign of the German Greens candidate, Annalena Baerbock, ended on Friday 24 September on the square in downtown Düsseldorf, in front of several hundred people. The young woman (moderately) electrified her audience by repeating her attacks against the reluctance of traditional parties on climate and social issues.

The polls place the Greens candidate in third position for the legislative elections to be held on Sunday, behind the favorite, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz (SPD), and the conservative Armin Laschet (CDU). In the crowd, nobody really imagines her succeeding Angela Merkel in the chancellery; many, on the other hand, expect the Greens to return to a government coalition after 16 years in opposition.

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Possible alliance with the SPD

“We can get along with the SPD; there is no real red line between the two parties ”, assures Myriam Jäger, a 40-year-old activist, “Annalena’s age!” “. This is also the preference expressed by M. Scholz and Baerbock during the last debate between the three main opponents. Conversely, the hypothesis of an alliance constrained by the results of the ballot box with a third partner hardly enchants the voters. “The CDU only talks about climate when there are elections and the left [Die Linke] is sometimes too radical ”, says Robert Dieters, a 55-year-old civil servant. The Greens defend an exit from coal from 2030, against 2038 for the other main groups.

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“We cannot agree with the Liberals of the FDP on economic issues either; an alliance with them would prevent any change, it would be a tragedy for the country ”, says Renate Aust, a retired teacher. The Greens advocate tax increases and a policy of massive investment in infrastructure “Climate neutral”. “And then, the FDP has accused the Greens for years of being the party that bans, that regulates; but we need rules to live in a free society ”, adds the septuagenarian, in unison with Robert Habeck, co-chairman of the party with Baerbock, who spoke at the start of the meeting. A philosopher by training, the latter defended with talent his party’s conception of freedom, in an implicit criticism of the far right (AfD) which built its campaign on “The defense of freedoms”.

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