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tv   Interview - Gesine Schwan The SPD can stand up to Merkel.  Deutsche Welle  March 18, 2018 1:15pm-1:31pm CET

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they keep their champions league hopes alive and annoyed by a new take the chance of an early bond as they get title even more cause for celebration. this is d.w. news live from plenty more few at the top of the hour don't forget you can always get the latest news on our web site that is deja dot com i hung around free in the lead my colleague michelle henry takes over at the news desk thank you company and the court against st. louis.
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professor is the chair of the social democrats committee on party principles and one of the party's pioneering thinkers today i'm talking to her about the future of germany's oldest political party the s.p.d. welcome to the interview. thank you for inviting me professor does the s.p.d. have a future of course we've very great responsibility and responsibility always has
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a future. voters see things differently the s.p.d. has continued to lose electoral support it won just twenty point five percent in the september election and is fairing even worse in the polls eighty percent of the voters see no future and no residence in the s.p.d. are these findings correct. of course findings and parties elsewhere in europe are doing even worse. it's due to the huge changes in global political problems social problems which are very hard to quantify politically. basically it's about the people represented by the social democrats and who have an interest in social democracy. and they've suffered in particular from the global economic developments of the last thirty years. there are no easy answers to this situation. indeed the s.p.d. is in search of new answers and is now making
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a fresh start with some new faces in the third grand coalition do they also represent new policies. primarily they represent the policies as agreed on in the coalition deal. but i certainly think they can bring in new ideas and impetus the big question is whether and to what extent the s.p.d. can meet expectations on tackling issues about the future. and there are crucial points everywhere. i'm very pleased with our new foreign minister heiko must. he's already made it clear to president french that germany wants to be accommodating to france and work together with france and other european countries that's a big step. you mentioned the new foreign minister he was the minister of justice in the previous government so not such a new face. do you see fresh impetus from the new ministers could any of them be
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a match for agot america and be chancellor material. they're all a match for uncle americal because her arguments aren't that strong they just have to stand up to her. which is a major difference from four years ago back then everyone including the social democrats was afraid of america's popularity. people now realize this was a mistake and that they have to show their independence and display it in public. in the september election the s.p.d. and the conservatives comprising the grand coalition were punished at the polls. also due to refugee policy what went wrong. because we have to understand that the refugees came to europe at a time when huge discrepancies had been building up for years within western societies. so it's not the refugees who caused the problems the
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problems have been there much longer the refugees highlighted how many people have been left by the wayside in western societies. and of course those people will react. what we need are constructive solutions at the local government level and not cheap and to refugee talk. integration has to mean the total integration of society it's not just about integrating refugees. was a mistake also made in losing control many people do not understand that. the mistake was made much earlier the chancellor had no concept of a refugee policy at the throw the s.p.d. did not excel here either then the borders were suddenly opened without controls. i don't think it was wrong that she opened them in that particular moment but she had no long term strategy but neither did the s.p.d. . oh no not at first it took time. but you have to understand that
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a great deal of hardship accumulated over many years in our societies although were considered rich. our societies are very unequal so it's not difficult to understand it analytically. we have to accept the consequences and build housing for people on long waiting lists and for migrants coming to us. sure people who have been waiting for years for social housing are annoyed that refugee shelters are suddenly being built. both the s.p.d. and the conservatives fail to see the divides in our society. that. and across europe yes. there's not so much solidarity as people expect poland for example doesn't want to take in muslim refugees you know poland and its people well you speak polish and did your ph d. about the polish philosopher leisure call a coffee what's your take. are the catholic poles heartless because they refused to
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accept a single muslim refugee. and absolutely not poland is a good example of a country where you cannot equate government with society but the government has a two thirds majority. yes and there are still about eleven major polish cities whose mayors openly say that they want to take in refugees. the president of the catholic bishops conference has called the country's behavior towards refugees unacceptable. a dominican clergyman the government and this catholic manipulation of raju maria is destroying christianity in poland. poland is a pluralistic society like many others and europe has to support those who want to take in refugees in a direct and intelligent manner. the law and justice party has a majority because they distribute social benefits for one thing but polls give the majority support on refugees. yes because they now have
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a monopoly and there are no constructive alternatives coming from europe we have to be smarter and be supportive not judge metal that's the watchword. what should the german foreign minister and finance minister both social democrats do in brussels should they say nations refusing to take in refugees or show solidarity will get no funds from brussels. here i have a clear suggestion the two ministers should start an initiative with france and the european council and say your governments do not have to take in refugees but you have to agree to a fund that towns and cities across the e.u. can apply for if they wish to take in refugees. they will be rewarded with development funds and the states only have to agree to accept the refugees that local authorities want to take in this will change the situation a great deal also in central europe. that's a proposal you've developed. preliminary decisions have already been made
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just this week the e.u. parliament's budgetary committee gave the go ahead. but with all due respect that sounds very idealistic. your mother once said that idealism does not always lead to success is that still true. i can't say whether my mother would have been successful but it isn't idealistic at all it's totally well founded. there was cross party support in the european parliament for such a fund. so now the governments just have to be smart enough to say we will give the local authorities the chance that wherever integration is happening people there can also be involved. type that's another requirement that the business community organized civic society and local governments should pave the way for integration said figures. and if this happens voluntarily the situation looks quite different. oh. your work in promoting
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relations between germans and poles was a factor in the s.p.d. twice nominating you as their candidate for the german presidency you lost the vote both times which of the two defeats was worse. this second defeat was pretty bitter because i had campaigned for a year. to fly the first defeat or rather my nomination came out of the blue so i wasn't really prepared. and sure i was prepared everyone was pleasantly surprised that i could string three sentences together when speaking in public. as for the second defeat i didn't take it as a personal defeat it's just the way majorities work. during the year when i was running for president the majority's developed in a different direction than the one i had been hoping for. i still learned an enormous amount and i think i was in a better position to influence the public agenda which i still do today and that's
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an advantage. with your second nomination you would have achieved a majority together with the greens and the left party should the s.p.d. consider the left party as an option at the national level so that you could put forward a candidate for chancellor. it is the only realistic model and i've been advocating it for years. i also believe that in terms of fundamental approach it works with these three parties. the left party sometimes has internal divisions as in all parties the christian democrats to. go. in my view this is the option that needs working on. i also believe it best represents a europe of solidarity. once again it's clear that our conservatives have no intention of responding to my call. but the s.p.d. leadership is reluctant to commit to the left party as the conservatives would accuse them of aligning themselves with former communists. they were too
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intimidated looking back on my second nomination it's clear the theist p.d. leadership under fundamental fairing was too wary. i was nominated by a majority formed by the s.p.d. for the left and the green party and should have been elected by them too. it's a shame the problems are elsewhere today not who the old communists are. we have globalization problems we have poverty and climate change we have a constructive approach to the refugee question. you're saying it's time. these are all quite different problems we can't get caught up in nostalgic problems that's nonsense. that this is the fourth i understand it's time and i'm afraid it will shortly be time to end our interview. i'd like you to complete three sentences that i'll start off for you. for the future of the s.p.d.
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i hope that it finds the courage to draw up a clear vision of its tasks and to implement them. i wish i had been elected as germany's president because i'd like to have addressed the difficult issues facing germany because it's easier for our president to do this then for an elected politician. i'm not a professional politician you once said but. i've always been politically active i see this as a mark of a person's character just like an island because enough fun thank you for talking to us. do you like me having trouble getting out of bed every morning maybe it's because you're so pressed cosmetic issues it's just another word to call it enough talk what happens if we live play against our clock that's when you call it really needs to be or how far off the good you do to compensate for the magical mysteries of
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criminals by which. the good shit. on the w. . this is you get when you come to life from the beginning let's go right to our correspondent he is in central istanbul and by the shellac up there due to abuse but it will correspond let's bring in a tape from our poland a dash that's going to be bought south a correspondent frank for more on those stories in just a minute but first this news just in to talk about the prospective. d.w. nurse. birth. home to moods of species. a home worth seeing if you can close those are big changes and most start with small steps global ideas tell stories of creative people and innovative projects around the world. ideas that protect the climate boost green energy solutions and resource addition. was
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out of people you cannot protect the force to create interactive content teaching the next generation about environmental protection. using all channels available to inspire people to take action and we're determined to build something here for the next generation. global goods a multimedia environment series on d. w. . welcome to in good shape coming up. perceiving other people's pain. empathy and staying on schedule why we should live by our biorhythms here's your host dr constantly. good morning wherever you are are you like me
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having trouble getting out of bed every morning maybe it's because.

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