Co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer (European Green Party) comments on the results of the German federal election:
“The grand coalition has fallen from favour with German voters:
“Both SPD and CDU/CSU lost considerably. AfD, the extreme right, managed to enter the Bundestag for the first time with a higher result than most polls predicted. This is a shock that necessitates us, as well as all the other democratic parties, to stand up reliably for the values on which our republic is founded.
“We can proudly say that the Green result is better than any poll indicated over the last year. I believe we have been able to grow stronger because of our clear position on the big issues of environment, climate, justice and Europe. That we were chosen as an antidote to extreme right AfD. That voters that had voted SPD in the past decided Green was the useful vote this time.
“The participation rate in the election rose from 71% to 75%, which is a positive signal.
“The way forward is going to be difficult and treacherous. When called upon to discuss a new government, the German Greens will not run from our responsibilities. As promised before the election, we are ready to talk with all democratic parties. But not about everything. There are clear criteria that we have pledged to uphold to our electorate: We want to close down the 20 dirtiest coal fired power plants in the country now. We want a progressive transport and agriculture policy. We will stand for more justice. And we will champion the cause of a stronger European Union, making use of the window of opportunity that exists in the triangle between Paris, Brussels and Berlin.
“In the end it will be up to our members to decide in an referendum, whether we will be mandated to fight for these goals in the next government, or in the opposition.”