Whether it’s chemicals or automotive, energy or finance: if there’s one thing managers don’t like in principle, it’s uncertainty. Either way, a lot can be handled – but not if you can’t plan properly. Much like after the 2017 federal election, when it took months before a government could finally be formed. On Monday, there was mainly a call from the business community.
Endless negotiations? No thanks. The industry now wants to see rapid government formation. “What we need least today is partisan math,” says Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy. The primary objective must now be “to form a government capable of acting as quickly as possible”. Trade associations have also warned against long back-and-forths. The parties should now show responsibility and forgo “tactical maneuvers,” said industry association president BDI, Siegfried Russwurm.
The red scarecrow
After all, German managers can now sleep a little better, because a scenario had recently deprived them of their calm: that the left came out stronger from the elections and that a red-red-green coalition could become a serious option. As the left can hardly enter the Bundestag, this color combination is canceled. “This will probably not be enough for a red-red-green coalition, so we should not expect an extreme restructuring of economic policy in Germany,” said Gabriel Felbermayer, president of the Institute for the Economy World (IFW). From an economic point of view, this is “good news”. Jörg Krämer, chief economist at Commerzbank, believes that investors and entrepreneurs should now be “relieved”.
The next day, many do not hide the composition of the colors they would choose – could they paint their government for themselves. “Germany is looking for a coalition to innovate – SMEs for Jamaica,” she told the German Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (DMB) on Monday. No tax increases, less bureaucracy, stronger middle class – the preference for the FDP and a black-yellow-green coalition is no accident.
The same is true with the German Retail Association (HDE). But he must first digest the crash of the trade union parties. The association, which claims 300,000 companies with a turnover of 540 billion euros, got on well with the CDU’s Minister of the Economy, Peter Altmaier. And now? Record what can be. “It is imperative to avoid tax increases or even more bureaucracy,” demanded HDE chairman Josef Sanktjohanser. It is “a clear path of relief for businesses” and therefore of supporting medium-sized businesses. It is no coincidence that this resembles the election manifestos of the CDU and the FDP. It is also a poorly kept secret that the association does its best to work for Jamaica. In his hometown of Cologne, where he and his family are co-responsible for Rewe Petz supermarkets, one of Germany’s largest independent grocery stores, the decision has already been made: many constituencies have switched to the SPD and the Greens. And it looks more like traffic lights than in Jamaica. Rhine realism instead of Caribbean dreams.
Trade unionist for Olaf
Daniela Cavallo, president of the VW general and group works council, naturally argues differently from the trade association. “The SPD, the Greens and the FDP are the parties that won this federal election,” she told the SZ. “So it is obvious that the SPD will now talk to the other two winners first.” Transformation for climate protection must be done in a socially equitable manner. “That is why I am in favor of a government led by Olaf Scholz as Federal Chancellor,” says Cavallo. In general, unions display different preferences than employers. “IG Metall congratulates Olaf Scholz and the SPD for their narrow electoral victory and the Greens and the FDP for their gains,” said Jörg Hofmann, chairman of the largest German trade union. “We now expect a rapid formation of the government.” He did not mention the Losing Union in his reaction.
The new government should promote the restructuring of a climate-friendly industry by investing in the future, paying attention to the safety and prospects of employees. “Strengthening social cohesion must be at the center of the government’s progressive action”, which the concepts of the Union and the FDP tend not to correspond – above all, to offer tax breaks to high incomes.
The union of chemicals and energy IG BCE also puts social issues at the forefront in addition to ecological and economic awareness. “Do we want to deal with a divided labor market and millions of precarious workers?” Asks union leader Michael Vassiliadis. Politics must “form a coalition of solidity and social responsibility”. For the Verdi services union, in addition to the confinement of fixed-term contracts, a minimum wage of twelve euros is at the top. The SPD and the Greens want it, but not the Union and the FDP. “We need a decade of investment in climate protection, good work and a strong welfare state,” said Verdi Chairman Frank Werneke. Energy money should offset the rising costs of climate protection. It is also essential to improve working conditions in professions where people are cared for, for example through collective agreements, whether in hospitals, retirement homes, day-care centers or establishments. teaching. Traffic lights instead of Jamaica.
Between candidate selection and climate change
Metal boss Stefan Wolf – who also heads supplier ElringKlinger – announced shortly before the elections that Armin Laschet (CDU) would take over the formation of a government. However, one hears the industry more often on Monday: the citizens voted outside the Union, Olaf Scholz would probably be the most suitable chancellor and – yes, that too: why we, the well-paid car managers, did we do you really need a tax break in these tough times?
At the largest automaker, Volkswagen, we seem to be able to live well with both versions of the Chancellor: “The fact that climate policy reforms, modernization and digitization are high on the agenda is a good basis for coalition negotiations, ”CEO Herbert Diess said on Monday with. In a ten-point program, he called for significantly higher CO₂ prices, the promotion of bicycles, e-bikes and carpooling, and cuts in subsidies for diesel and coal. Just like an automaker like VW today builds both electric cars and combustion engines, you are also flexible when choosing a chancellor. And at Siemens Energy, it’s not about color play and chancellor elections either, but what’s coming next. “The electoral campaign is over, the parties must now show in the coalition negotiations that they are serious in the energy transition”, explains the boss of Energy Bruch. Whip? Scholz? There are arguably more important topics than middle-aged men right now.
And then there are those who were also at stake this weekend: the big owners. For the real estate sector, the result of election night seems ambivalent at first glance: on the one hand, the majority of Berliners voted by referendum to expropriate companies with more than 3,000 apartments in the capital; on the other hand, the Left Party has clearly lost the strongest political voice for expropriations – in the Berlin House of Representatives, but above all in the Bundestag. Red-red-green is therefore not an option for the federal government. A glance at the stock market also shows: it works!
Vonovia shares dominated the Dax the next morning with a price increase of more than four percent. This is also explained by the fact that the group announced on Monday that it now has a majority in Deutsche Wohnen – exactly the group that the Berlin referendum wants above all to expropriate. The two together own around 550,000 apartments valued at over 80 billion euros, most of them in Germany. In the meantime, it seems unlikely that many of them will soon be forcibly taken into the public purse. No one seriously expects expropriations, at least in the capital market, said real estate economist Tobias Just of the University of Regensburg. “I am still of the opinion that expropriations do not help create even one new apartment and also solve the big question of affordable housing,” said election winner Franziska Giffey (SPD) on Monday. . Overall, the differences between a traffic light and a Jamaican coalition in the federal government for housing and especially the construction industry are more detailed, says real estate economist Just More About Home Ownership to the property. But something is likely to happen in both policy areas. “Something will definitely do. Maybe soon.