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Head of State Steinmeier, Green politician Habeck (when appointed minister in December 2021): Crisis meeting in Bellevue

Photo: Maurizio Gambarini / Funke Foto Services / IMAGO

It will be anything but a routine meeting – although both sides are very careful to present it as such: On Friday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will receive Federal Minister of Economics and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, according to SPIEGEL information. The question of how and whether the traffic light coalition will come together in the budget dispute is likely to be at the centre of the discussion.

The Federal Ministry of Economics confirmed to SPIEGEL that Habeck will meet with Steinmeier on Friday. Addendum: This was a "routine appointment". But in view of the current political situation, it is of course a crisis meeting to which the Green politician appears at Bellevue Palace at the invitation of the head of state.

By virtue of his office, the Federal President receives the top representatives of German politics at regular intervals. Even when Steinmeier recently met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Steinmeier and the SPD head of government were probably primarily concerned with finding a way out of the current government crisis.

The same applies to the meetings with Finance Minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner and opposition leader Friedrich Merz, which Steinmeier will reportedly welcome to Bellevue Palace soon – even if these are also declared routine appointments.

In view of the budget crisis, the Federal President is likely to have a genuine interest in getting an idea of the situation himself in talks with the relevant actors: if the government is unable to reach an agreement in the end and the dispute over money breaks up, Steinmeier could suddenly be the centre of attention.

He had already played a mediating role after the 2017 federal elections, when the formation of a Jamaica coalition of the CDU/CSU, the Greens and the FDP collapsed, and ultimately contributed to the CDU/CSU and SPD agreeing on a coalition. The dissolution of the Bundestag, which would lead to new elections, can only be explained by the Federal President.