- The referendum for more species protection has almost three weeks before the deadline almost three quarters of the necessary signatures collected.
- Prime Minister Söder actually wanted to wait for the result, because of the great popularity he has now expressed earlier.
- Söder has announced a round table and a far-reaching law. The Greens criticize: The referendum can not just wegmoderieren.
The great success of the petition for biodiversity makes the Bavarian state government rethink. With a round table and a far-reaching law for more nature and species protection Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) wants to bring about an amicable solution.
"It is our goal to make a joint draft," said Söder on Thursday South German newspaper, In it the supporters as well as the critics of the Volksbegehrens should find themselves. "We want to create social peace," said Söder. In his opinion, land use could also be regulated in such a law: "This could be an epochal step."
That the prime minister is at the forefront of the debate comes as a surprise at the present time. Before the start of the referendum Söder had announced that he wanted to wait out of respect for the democratic process. Now he is already reacting at the halfway point of the request, which runs until February 13th. That should also be due to the enormous popularity. According to estimates of the initiators, until Thursday evening already 700 000 citizens under the slogan "Save the bees" signed. Even in the coalition government of CSU and Free Voters there is no longer any doubt that the missing 250,000 signatures come together.
The exceptionally high response has made an impression in the State Chancellery. Söder also justified his change of strategy with the great support for species protection in the population. "The topic is my personal and also the CSU at heart," said Söder. The parliamentary debate on Tuesday in the state parliament had encouraged him to become active already. "According to old templates", the parties had discussed. "We have to get out of the trenches," says Söder.
The pressure from the population is likely to play the CSU boss in the cards. He had said after the two-digit losses in the state election, his party must be more open and greener. Not all shared this assessment, especially in the parliamentary group there is skepticism against a too environmentally friendly policy. But the doubters have no choice but to follow Söder's course.
There are also supporters in the CSU
The same applies to the coalition partner Free Voters. In addition, Söder has the opportunity to work on his image as a compensating country father. In the refugee dispute, he had long been perceived as an agitator, before he had made an abrupt turnaround. He wants to leave behind this negative image.
In the referendum also several CSU members have registered. Many are of the opinion that the time is ripe for better conservation – even if they do not agree to all the details of the referendum. Söder wants to pick up the concerns, especially from agriculture. 90 per cent of the referendum he considers good, ten per cent for difficult. His motto is: Keep the good in the design, remedy weaknesses and further promote agriculture. "We want to try to find a cross-party solution," says Söder: "But we do not want to collect anyone."