Dispute in the Thuringian state parliament endangers the CDU's firewall to the AfD declared by Union leader Merz. Both parties want to vote for legislative initiatives that the red-red-green minority government rejects. This can now be averted through negotiations.
In Thuringia, several compromises are emerging to prevent a possible voting alliance between the CDU and AfD on two controversial issues in the state parliament. After a conversation with CDU parliamentary group leader Mario Voigt, Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow in Erfurt was confident that joint solutions to two draft laws by the opposition CDU parliamentary group are possible in the coming weeks.
It is about a 1000 meter distance rule for wind turbines to residential buildings and the reintroduction of free tuition for health professionals. CDU faction leader Mario Voigt spoke of a breakthrough for two concerns that are important to the CDU. The situation threatened to escalate because Ramelow's red-red-green minority coalition had previously rejected the CDU initiatives, but the AfD parliamentary group with its leader Björn Höcke signaled approval.
Together with the FDP group, the CDU and AfD could overrule the coalition of Left, SPD and Greens in the state parliament in Erfurt, which lacks four votes for its own majority. In Thuringia, the AfD is being monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution because of right-wing extremist tendencies. A possible scandal had attracted nationwide attention.
It was discussed whether the firewall between the CDU and the AfD declared by CDU party leader Friedrich Merz could be in danger. Merz said on Wednesday night on the ZDF program "Markus Lanz" that he hoped for a solution without the AfD being needed. "Now we can't make every application that we think right on the matter dependent on whether the AfD agrees or not," he said.
CDU parliamentary group leader Voigt said that there was no violation of the incompatibility decision of the CDU with the AfD in Thuringia. Ramelow and Voigt drew lines of compromise after their meeting. In the case of the controversial distance regulation of wind turbines, the draft law of the CDU could be supplemented with an opening clause and a passage on the replacement of old wind turbines by repowering, based on the model of a regulation in Brandenburg, said Ramelow.
In addition, the left and the CDU politicians agree that trainees in health professions at free schools should be further exempted from paying school fees. As the largest opposition faction, the CDU will also help convert the energy-intensive Thuringian glass industry with 7,000 jobs from gas to electricity from renewable sources. The CDU is also giving the government more leeway with a budget resolution it initiated, according to which 330 million euros are to be saved over the course of the year.
In Thuringia, the Red-Red-Green Party has governed without a majority of its own since 2020. For a year there was a stability pact with the CDU to adopt a budget. There is currently no agreement governing the collaboration. "We can sit down as democrats at the table. There is no need for a contractual agreement for this," Voigt said of the complicated situation in Thuringia's state politics.