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"The SPD has a mentality problem" TIME ONLINE

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ZEIT ONLINE: Are you happy that 2019 will soon be over?

Martin Schulz: Frankly, yes.

ZEIT ONLINE: Was 2019 a particularly bad year?

Schulz: Safe for my party. For Europe too.
I'm afraid 2019 will not be remembered as a good year.

ZEIT ONLINE: What was so bad?

Schulz: Andrea Nahles' resignation was for
the SPD heavy. At the European level, the failed
Top candidate process
after the EU election. And globally we have
2019 saw a triumphal march of authoritarian structures. Xi Jinping stands for
Return to the one-man leadership in China. Vladimir Putin is with an unpredictable
Cynicism on the go, and an authoritarian-minded president is trying in the United States
the checks and balances system, a core element of the American constitution,
to undermine.

ZEIT ONLINE: Pretty dark. Was there anything good in 2019?

Schulz: The fact that Matteo Salvini is in
Italy has not prevailed. And that the five-star movement has proven
that she takes responsibility for her country. And in Austria we have it
Unmasking of an alleged leader of the common people: The
FPÖ chief Strache, Vice Chancellor of the Republic, turned out to be someone who
wants to seize the state in order to sell it.

ZEIT ONLINE: And nationally? Is there something you like
Positive one?

Schulz: Here we have a paradoxical situation.
We have a federal government that actually works well. But we have
two ruling parties who do nothing but deal with themselves
employ. This leads to dissatisfaction.

ZEIT ONLINE: A rumor from 2019 says you
Become a leader and Andrea Nahles wanted to replace. Is there anything there?

Schulz: I had told Andrea Nahles in a one-on-one conversation that I was for no office in Berlin for private reasons
kandidiere. That was the end of the matter for me, especially since my relationship with her
was good. The coalition negotiations were made by her and me
run together. We have 70 percent of the election program in that
Get government program. It went well until the day on which Hans-Georg Maassen should become State Secretary with our approval. She has
have to withdraw. But I know that when you're in a tunnel:
Then you make mistakes.

ZEIT ONLINE: What many social democrats clearly
more concerned are not Nahles' mistakes, but the lack of solidarity
in the party.

Schulz: When people say at party conferences: We
are not allowed to treat each other maliciously, then I always look at myself
exactly who is saying that. And I think for some: what I do with them
have experienced. But, alas, I might say something about that in my memoirs.

ZEIT ONLINE: What makes you hope that 2020
does not result in an endless internal power struggle?

Schulz: I think many have in our party
understand that we have to change something in principle. The party has one
Problem of mentality: the lack of pride in what has been achieved and what is exaggerated
Complain about what has not been achieved. So a commentator has it right
described. But my impression is that there is now a will that
Government support.

ZEIT ONLINE: Saskia Esken is the political winner
of the year 2019?

Schulz: I do not think so. Why should she?
his?

ZEIT ONLINE: She is now a German
Top politician. Hardly anyone knew her a year ago.

Schulz: May be! It is extremely heavy
Task taken over.

ZEIT ONLINE: You advertised for Olaf Scholz, want to
but now support the new party leadership. Is that credible?

Schulz: Norbert Walter-Borjans is a
acquaintance of mine for decades. After his choice, I wrote to him
that as his predecessor, I know what to expect. An SPD leader can
unfortunately do not naturally expect that he will be supported by everyone.
That is my experience. And I want him to be spared this experience
remains. That's why I said to him: You can count on me. When you this
want.

ZEIT ONLINE: During the renegotiations with the Union:
Are small compromises enough, for example, with minimum wages or investments? The new
Chairpersons started with the claim
to do everything completely differently.

Schulz: Politics is a dynamic process. As
When I became party chairman, I had a lot in my head that I do differently
wanted to. But soon you realize: You are not alone. A new
Party leaders cannot go and say: We are here now, and everyone else
have to shut up. That's not how it works. In addition, the
new party leadership to be clear: there is one in 66 percent of the
SPD members affirmed coalition. Leaving this without need also has
our party congress rejected by a large majority. And: 80 percent of Germans
are against new elections. If you then say as a new SPD leader: I am
never mind, I'm breaking the coalition and making new elections, you think
seriously, the 80 percent reward you for it? So the party leadership says
which is correct in principle: we strive for a different kind of politics. But
we stand by the coalition.

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