As the economist Christian Odendahl puts it, Esken and NoWaBo are by international comparison about as hard-left as the IWF, in that they want more of Germany’s vast surplus to be spent on wide-eyed priorities like school, digital and rail improvements. Their proposed minimum wage increase to €12 an hour, below the level currently being proposed in Britain by renowned hardline socialist Boris Johnson, would inject some much-needed demand into the slowing eurozone economy. Meanwhile, their insistence that the grand coalition improve its dismally unambitious climate package puts them somewhere close to such extreme lefties as French president Emmanuel Macron and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte.

New Statesman

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