German politics has its strange sides. One of the supposed side-effects of Sunday’s state election in Hesse was that the FDP would now control the balance in the Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament where the states (or rather: the state governments) are represented, so that the grand coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD would be forced to enter negotiations with FPD in order to bring the latest economic package through parliament.
Maybe a more humble approach to its newly-won power would have done the FDP good. As it is, the Green party – which is the junior partner in the state governments in Bremen (with the SPD) and Hamburg (CDU) – decided that supporting the federal government’s rescue package would be better than giving the FDP any major influence over economic policy. So, unless something really funny happens in the coming days, the governments of Hamburg and Bremen will save Berlin from the Hessians in the Bundesrat.