INSM allegations against Greens Inaccurate to wrong
Status: 14.06.2021 10:22 a.m. INSM lobbyists want to brand the Greens as a supposed “prohibition party” – and list everything that could be prohibited under their government. But the allegations are only half done, as a dpa fact check shows. With advertisements in daily newspapers and on German media websites, the lobby organization Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) is targeting the election program of the Greens and their candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock. The company, which is financed by the employers’ associations in the metal and electrical industry, lists several topics on which the Greens allegedly wanted to tame the Germans with bans. “All bans can be substantiated by the green draft program,” tweeted the INSM. But is that really true? The German Press Agency has examined four allegations more closely.
No new registrations from 2030
ALLEGED DEMAND: “You are not allowed to drive an internal combustion engine.” EVALUATION: Wrong. FACTS: The Greens election program for the federal election in 2021 stipulates that from 2030 there will no longer be any new registrations for cars with internal combustion engines. However, the party does not call for a ban on existing vehicles of this type of drive. Such vehicles are likely to exist for much longer, because according to a study from 2020, cars on German roads are on average 9.6 years old. On the way to climate neutrality, which the current federal government (without participation of the Greens) has decided for 2045, Baerbock’s party is betting on a quota for “emission-free cars”. In addition, the motor vehicle tax should make vehicles with internal combustion engines more expensive. In its more detailed explanations of the campaign, the INSM classifies this accordingly on its website, but massively shortens the topic in its striking thesis. The Greens also encourage “car-free city centers and districts”. Driving there would actually be prohibited – regardless of the drive.
Federal party congress The Greens’ election manifesto is available At the party congress, a whopping 98 percent majority approved the Greens’ election manifesto.
Ban on night flights
ALLEGED CLAIM: “You are not allowed to fly.” EVALUATION: Wrong. FACTS: The Greens aim to reduce air traffic. The party only becomes clear in the election manifesto with regard to short-haul and night flights. Short-haul flights should not be banned, but rather become “superfluous” by the expansion of rail traffic by 2030. In mid-May, Baerbock said: “There should be no more short-haul flights in perspective.” In fact, according to the election manifesto, the Greens want to ban night flights – for reasons of noise protection. The INSM shortens the statement here too. In the explanations on its website, the initiative only speaks of a “total moral ban”. By the way: CDU Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet has recently been open to renouncing domestic German flights – if there are appropriate alternatives.
Criticism of agreements
ALLEGED CLAIM: “You are not allowed to participate in free trade.” EVALUATION: Inaccurate. FACTS: An essential part of the idea of free trade is the dismantling of trade barriers, which may well include social or environmental standards. The Greens really do not want open markets without any regulations. In the party’s election manifesto, however, it says: “We want (…) trade agreements that serve the prosperity of all people, demand environmental and climate protection and strengthen relationships with our partners in the fight for democracy and freedom.” For this reason, a planned free trade agreement between the EU and the Latin American trade association Mercosur is rejected, and the Ceta agreement between the EU and Canada is not supposed to be ratified “in its current form”. But even the INSM advocates restrictions, even though it obviously sets different priorities than the Greens: According to the lobby organization, “new legal standards, for example in the area of investment protection”, should be developed for free trade agreements.
Top earners should pay more
ALLEGED CLAIM: “You are allowed to keep even less of your money, even though you are already paying high taxes.” EVALUATION: Partly wrong. FACTS: According to the Greens’ plans, there should actually be higher taxes for top earners, but in return the party wants to relieve those on low to middle incomes. Specifically: The election program provides for single persons with a taxable income of more than 100,000 euros per year to raise the tax rate to 45 (instead of the previous 42) percent. For incomes of more than 250,000 euros, it should increase to 48 percent. At the same time, the basic tax-free allowance – i.e. the tax-free part of income – is to be increased, which in turn is more likely to benefit people with lower wages. According to calculations by the employer-related Institute of the German Economy (IW) in Cologne, all singles with an income of up to 80,000 euros per year would pay less tax in the future if these plans were implemented. According to IW data, this means relief for the bottom 95 percent of incomes.
Sharp criticism of the campaign
The INSM campaign has been massively criticized for days. Chancellor candidate Baerbock is portrayed as Moses, above it is written “We do not need a state religion”. The Berlin anti-Semitism commissioner, Samuel Salzborn, said of the ad: “An election campaign is an election campaign, no question – but also and especially in times when there is heated political debate, chains of associations that accept anti-Semitic allusions are fatal.” The “Moses analogy, the reference to the strict religion of the law, the term ‘state religion’ – all of this arouses anti-Jewish stereotypes in the metaphor that are fatal in the political debate – regardless of any difference in content,” said Salzborn.
INSM advertisements and Emcke speech Accusations of anti-Semitism in the election campaign The New Social Market Economy initiative and the publicist Carolin Emcke are confronted with accusations of anti-Semitism.
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