"You do not leave a government for tactical reasons" | TIME ONLINE

Stephan Weil, Lower Saxony's prime minister, is one of the most influential voices in the SPD. For two years, the lawyer has led a big coalition in Niedersachsen without much fanfare, before he ruled four years with the Greens. Is he warming up for a job in Berlin? Because beckons: He is just a "simple, beer-drinking Prime Minister". In an interview he talks about the situation of the SPD and explains why Volkswagen has to reduce jobs.

TIME ONLINEMr. Weil, the grand coalition is now in office for a year. How long to hold SPD and Union still dating one another?

Stephan Weil: Until the next federal elections – and it's up to me, they take place on the regular date.

TIME ONLINE: There are no new elections?

Because: Not me. The Federal Government has had good and important projects in recent months
realized. Higher child support, digital pact, Good-Kita-law and much more. If the Groko continues in Berlin, I'm in good spirits. You leave
no government for tactical reasons.

TIME ONLINE: Would the SPD the new CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer without new elections to the Chancellor?

Because: I find this discussion at best medium-smart. The Chancellor is in office
and makes a big impression on me. Everything else is speculation. We should rather do good politics.

TIME
 ON-LINE:
In autumn, the grand coalition wants to take stock. Means "good
Politics "that the SPD then with the Union also over an extension of the
 Will negotiate a coalition agreement?

Because:
First of all, a contract should be respected by both sides
become. The coalition agreement contains many good social democratic
Project and its implementation is for me
the scale. Additional points can be agreed if both sides agree.
But not every new idea of ​​a coalition partner is automatically implemented. Recently
For example, at a workshop, the Union has developed fantasies about deportation that are safe with the SPD
not realized.

TIME ONLINE: Just like the SPD idea of ​​the basic pension without a means test: against which the Union blocks.

Because:
If the Union is wise, then let it be. In
my time as Lord Mayor is often elderly with two
thick pack of paper came to me. With
In one pack, they wanted to prove that they had worked hard all their lives, with the other that the basic security in old age is not enough. And they are in front of you
I am terribly ashamed to have to prove it. This shame has millions of people,
who have worked all their life and who are still not enough in old age.

TIME
 ON-LINE
: Can you understand that the middle class and
Do earners from the SPD feel neglected in all of their social policies?

Because: The
 Question of impending future poverty in old age certainly affects the
Middle class. little one
and middle incomes should be relieved of the soli, also the one
SPD proposal. The same applies to the return to parity at the
Health insurance. But I'm still concerned with something else: industrial workers
and workers ask how their jobs continue, like Germany
in the future, can strike a balance between industry and the environment.
The Conservatives are not really interested in climate change, the
 Greens have no soft spot for the industry …

TIME ONLINE: Phew, this is going to be very woodcut like …

Because: Only the SPD discusses the whole question: how do we get it
Does traditional industries have a future even under climate change conditions?

TIME ONLINE: And does she also have answers?

Because: Yes, take
Lower Saxony. We are leaders in the expansion of renewable energies and thus already cover 60 percent of the electricity requirement.
And we are with Volkswagen and its 100,000 employees
Car country number one in Germany. The industry is changing a lot,
Volkswagen wants to be environmentally friendly and successful at the same time
his. The conversion of the auto industry is extremely demanding.

TIME ONLINE: Why is the car industry very difficult to protect the climate?

Because:
The auto industry – and specifically VW – is clearly too late
put the emphasis on electric mobility. Only Dieselgate was the
strong kick in the butt of the industry.
In the meantime, however, a lot is happening and Volkswagen is taking a pioneering and leading role in the conversion to electromobility.

TIME ONLINE: Well, Volkswagen has just announced the reduction of 7,000 jobs. What does VW look like in 2030?

Because:
At present, Volkswagen is probably the industrial enterprise that most consistently drives its transformation to electric mobility. In the next ten years VW will have its locations in Wolfsburg and
Emden completely switch to the production of electric cars. This is imperative, but unfortunately it also entails the loss of jobs. For the production of electric cars now less employees are needed than for internal combustion engines. On the other hand, there will also be new jobs, for example in connection with the further digitization of cars. For both there are also very concrete agreements with the works council, which are quite far-reaching. In addition, the fact that there have been public discussions about further job cuts at Volkswagen over the past few days, before there are even any substantial and internally coordinated plans, I think is a mistake. The conversion can only succeed if you give the person concerned the security that they will not fall through the grate.

TIME ONLINE: How many new jobs could arise?

Because:
 That can not be quantified yet. That's just as many new ones
Jobs are created, as fall away, is not expected.
Employees at Volkswagen in
Niedersachsen know that their company is currently in a tremendous
Change process is. They go along with these changes because they know that this is the future of
Company and jobs. But they also have a legitimate expectation that the business will be prudent and that their interests will be taken into account.
I'm committed to that.

TIME
 ON-LINE:
Not every worker at VW will be complex digital in the future
Control processes. What can one offer to others?

Because: There must also be jobs for the less qualified. Above all, the employees must
get fit for the digital future. Germany
 also needs to be competitive compared to Eastern European countries
stay as far as energy prices are concerned. This means:
Energy-intensive companies must continue to be relieved in the future. The
Above all, it is very important for building a
Battery cell production in Germany. The battery will be at a distance
 be the most important item in the electric car. We must not
permanently dependent on imports from Asia. In the car country Germany
also battery cells have to be produced.

TIME ONLINE: The current advantage of China is hardly to catch up.

Because:
 In Germany, that is actually only late the penny
like. But that does not mean that we can not catch up anymore
can.

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