Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has heavily criticized the German Green Party for being a US puppet. The CDU, Germany’s dominant party, has backed the pipeline project with Russian company Gazprom. It is keen on seeing the project finished for the financial benefits it will provide to Germany.
Approved by Angela Merkel’s government, Nord Stream 2 is a Gazprom pipeline, providing gas from Russia to Germany. This project first started in 2012, has cost over 9 billion euros, and is about 95% complete. The pipeline goes through the Baltic sea, bypassing eastern European countries between Germany and Russia, most notably Ukraine.
A geopolitical issue
Die Grunen, the German Green Party opposes the pipelines on the grounds that Russia has often proven to be a corrupt regime. The Green Party claims no investments financing Russia should be approved. It points to the poison attack on Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny, the annexation of Crimea as well as arming Ukrainian separatists. Furthermore, the pipeline avoids many European countries, such as Ukraine, depriving them of valuable transit fees.
These critics are aligned with the US’s opposition to the project, which would see the US competing with Russia as a gas provider in Europe. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned entities involved in Nord Stream 2 to quit the project. All European companies involved with the project are expected to face US sanctions. However, the CDU downplayed the US and eastern European countries’ worry that this project will increase European dependency on Russia.
A weakened CDU Party
Whilst the CDU wants the project to be in operation as soon as possible, in the past few years, it has seen its popularity decrease. Economist and CDU politician Max Otte stated that Germany is experiencing its most polarized society since the post-war period. The CDU is accusing the German Green Party of capitalizing on a polarized society in order to improve their popularity. The last election showed that the Greens are becoming a threat to the CDU and it is expected that they will become Germany’s second-largest party by the next election. Their impressive ascension has even led to expectations that they will coalesce with the Christian Democratic Union.
The increase in popularity of the party was acknowledged by the CDU politician. Regardless, Max Otte maintained that the Green Party is capitalizing on the polarized German society. He went as far as stating the party is behaving on behalf of the US and do not care for German interest:
The Greens are very aggressive and they are more or less completely following the US strategy. They are not looking after Germany. They are a party that has in their mind and their program basically to abolish Germany.– Max Otte, CDU politician
A coalition between the two most popular parties may help to reduce polarizing opinions within German society. How Max Otte’s comments and overall CDU opinion will impact the potential coalition between the two parties remains up to debate. German voters will have to wait until the next election to see as well.