We now have the Merkel-Schulz coalition deal, which calls for a halt to the sale of weapons to those countries involved in the war in Yemen. However, the current government, run by the same CDU-SPD “grand coalition,” was forced Wednesday by die Linke to formally acknowledge that it has approved weapons exports worth a record-breaking €25 billion during the last four years, including to the bad actors: Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.
Even more, the embargo on weapons sales to the Erdogan regime, always brought up as a talking point by the Socialists and Christian-Democrats, has proven to be a sham. Now we have video evidence of Germany’s complicity in warmongering, coming from the current Turkish offensive against the Kurds: the Leopard-2 tanks they are using are none other than those decommissioned by the Bundeswehr and turned over to “the Sultan” and his troops.
These two scandals are making trouble for Chancellor Merkel as she tries to put together her fourth government. But they are also a political sore point for Martin Schulz’s Social-Democrats: the one responsible for approving arms sales is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Social-Democrat Sigmar Gabriel, whose term will end in March. This is all in stark contradiction with the pacifism that imbues the 28-page coalition deal signed on Jan. 12. It is especially bad publicity for the leaders of the SPD, who now have the task of convincing party members (who will vote on this matter in a party-wide referendum in February) of the appropriateness of continuing to govern together with Mutti until 2021.