The relief is palpable on the stock market. The German share index (Dax) celebrated the outcome of the Bundestag elections with price gains. Prices rose by around one percent right at the start of trading. The reason: "A left-wing alliance is out," said Thomas Gitzel, Chief Economist at VP Bank. That eliminated the biggest risk from a financial market perspective, he said. "Without the Left Party, there is unlikely to be a majority for tax increases or new regulations such as a rent brake," Michael Holstein, chief economist at DZ Bank, also believes. It remains to be seen whether that is true.
But it may be some time before there is political clarity and a coalition is in place. However, the business community is visibly afraid of a months-long stalemate like the one that followed the last federal election. "In view of the unclear election outcome, German industry now expects all parties to take maximum responsibility and tackle priorities instead of tactical maneuvers," warned Siegfried Russwurm, president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), on Monday. The willingness to make groundbreaking decisions in favor of the location must be the guiding principle for any coalition negotiations in order to overcome stagnation, he said.
Bank President Christian Sewing also calls for a "government alliance of new beginnings. The new coalition must boldly tackle structural changes to strengthen Germany's competitiveness, he said. Challenges around digitalization and climate change can only be financed with strong banks and efficient capital markets. "The new federal government should dare more Europe - that's the only way we'll maintain our sovereignty in the international showdown."
Employers would also like to see a spirit of reform. Germany must become faster in order to meet the challenges, said Employers' President Rainer Dulger. "We must not make friends with relegation." Climate protection and entrepreneurial freedom should not be opposites. "We need a broad concept of sustainability that thinks ecological and economic responsibility together." Dulger is pleased with the loss of votes by the Left Party and the AfD. "The margins were rightly weakened."
After the SPD's narrow election victory over the CDU/CSU, both sides want to forge coalitions. The Greens and FDP are being courted. SMEs are backing a Union-led Jamaica coalition, according to a survey conducted by the BVMW SME association shortly before the election. A good 34 percent of the companies surveyed were in favor of an alliance between the CDU/CSU, the Greens and the FDP. A snap survey conducted by the German Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (DMB) after the election confirms this: According to the survey, 38 percent of companies favored a Jamaica coalition and 34 an alliance of the CDU/CSU, SPD and FDP, while only 11 percent favored a traffic light consisting of the SPD, Greens and FDP.
Family entrepreneurs also see the Greens and FDP in particular as the focus of the negotiations. "It's the mixture that makes the difference: A climate protection policy could emerge from Yellow and Green that actually saves CO2 emissions in a market economy and does not just make renewable energies more expensive in a planned economy," said association president Reinhold von Eben-Worlee. Topics such as climate protection and digitization can only be tackled, however, if farms once again become more internationally competitive, he said, calling for the renunciation of tax increases such as a wealth tax or stricter inheritance tax.
German farmers are hoping for "more appreciation" from a new federal government, as well as future prospects for their farms. Above all, they want to secure the future of agriculture and rural areas and prevent a "structural collapse," said Joachim Rukwied, president of the German farmers' association, on Monday. Experts have proposed solutions to this problem, he said, and these must now be taken up by the parties. Rukwied also called for the government to be formed quickly. Farmers in Germany need "political clarity and perspectives," he said.
The German League for the Environment and Nature Conservation warned that the new coalition must make climate protection a joint central project. The future government must act quickly and decisively to enable, for example, a boom in the nature-friendly expansion of renewable energies. Climate protection in transport and building renovation must also finally be advanced. "The negotiations must not attempt to play climate protection off against social policy," warned BUND head Olaf Bandt.Climate protection must be organized in a socially just way, he said. "Whether Olaf Scholz or Armin Laschet can do that, they still have to prove in coalition negotiations. In any case, the climate protection movement must continue to exert pressure, for example to push through a rapid coal phase-out and quickly put Germany on the path to climate neutrality."
Image by Gerd Altmann