The most important things for you this Monday:

Cai Tore Philippsen

Responsible editor for the FAZ.NET editorial team

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1. The Greens decide in North Rhine-Westphalia

2. Sweden also wants to join NATO

3. Russia's offensive is also faltering in eastern Ukraine

4. Dispute over 9-euro ticket

5. Census begins in Germany

6. HSV is playing for promotion to the Bundesliga

7. What will be important this week

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1. The Greens decide in NRW

After the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, the poker game for a new government in the most populous federal state begins today in Düsseldorf and Berlin.

Black-green or traffic light?


This Monday, bouquets of flowers will again be distributed at the party headquarters in Berlin and coalition options will be played through.

Should the Greens form an alliance after their success with the victorious CDU and try black-green in NRW?

Or is the Green Party leadership pushing for a rejection of the Conservatives for federal political reasons and instead pleading for a traffic light coalition in Düsseldorf as well?


The success of both parties speaks for a connection between the Greens and the CDU.

Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst, who took over from Armin Laschet just a few months ago, improved the CDU result by more than two percentage points to over 35 percent.

The Greens' top candidate, Mona Neubaur, almost tripled her share of the vote to over 18 percent.

The high approval ratings for Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck and Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock should also have helped the NRW Greens.


For the SPD, after the success in Saarland, it is the second defeat in a state election in 2022. The selection of the top candidates in Schleswig-Holstein and NRW, for which the state associations are responsible, is one reason for the weak results.

But Chancellor Olaf Scholz has not provided any tailwind in the federal states in recent weeks.

The third traffic light party – the FDP – is even worse off than the SPD.

Party leader and Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner spoke of a "disastrous defeat", only just avoiding the failure at the five percent hurdle.

The mood in the Berlin traffic light is likely to deteriorate significantly: the three-way alliance currently has only one winner.

more on the subject

2. Sweden also wants to join NATO

After the Swedish Social Democrats voted yes to their country joining NATO, the parliament debated on Monday.

As early as Tuesday, Sweden could submit an application for membership at the same time as Finland.

Social Democrats:

The vote by Sweden's ruling party clears the way for the country's application to join NATO.

How difficult it was for the party to vote can be seen from the fact that it does not want to accept nuclear weapons in the country, even if it is a NATO member.

Permanent NATO bases are also not wanted in the country.

A turning point:

In contrast to their Scandinavian neighbors Norway, Iceland and Denmark, Sweden and Finland were non-aligned for decades.

Joining NATO would be historic for both countries.

In Finland, parliamentary approval is considered a formality, and in Sweden, too, the decisive step should have been taken with the approval of the social democrats.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin stressed that everything changed with Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson made a similar statement - turning the tide in Scandinavian.


The foreign ministers of the military alliance promise the two countries rapid admission.

Only Turkey expressed concerns.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had described the Scandinavian countries as "hostels for terrorist organizations".

They would support the banned Turkish Workers' Party PKK and the Kurdish militia YPG in Syria.

It is still unclear whether Turkey can actually slow down the accession process.