Hamburg's Greens approve first-ever coalition deal with CDU
The party approved the 65-page coalition agreement by a large majority.
Hamburg-- Germany's Greens party approved Sunday the first- ever coalition deal with the Christian Democrats (CDU) at state level when members passed a deal thrashed out between the executives of the two parties earlier this month.
The party -- known in the northern city-state as the Greens-Alternative List (GAL) --approved the 65-page coalition agreement by a large majority.
CDU members are to vote on the coalition Monday but passage is considered a sure thing.
CDU Mayor Ole von Beust is set to be confirmed in office by the state legislature on May 7. Von Beust was able to run Hamburg for the past four years without a coalition partner until he lost his majority in the February 24 elections.
He expressed confidence the unusual arrangement would work. "I'm looking forward to a return to normal politics, when the work starts," he said after the GAL had voted.
Although there are several deals with the CDU at local level, the Greens have never before entered into government alongside the CDU at state or federal level, preferring to strike deals with the Social Democrats (SPD).
GAL leader Anja Hajduk acknowledged the party was entering a new phase. "There are Green goals there, but there are risks," she said.
In the deal, the GAL has agreed -- against previous decisions -- to allow the River Elbe to be dredged to a greater depth so that the largest container ships can enter the port, Europe's third largest after Rotterdam and Antwerp.
Another serious point of difference is a coal-fired power station at Moorburg within the city limits. Construction has started, although final approval for the power station - a modern plant that also heats buildings - still has to be granted.