The first trial before the federal election is underway. What’s the vibe, who sells the best – and what do voters ultimately say?
Berlin (dpa) – During the exchange of three-way blows between the candidates for chancellor of the Union, the SPD and the Greens, certain commonalities in terms of security policy and the fight against the coronavirus became clear.
After the catastrophe of NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Armin Laschet (CDU / CSU), Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Annalena Baerbock (Greens) unanimously called for the strengthening of Germany’s role in security policy. Laschet reiterated on Sunday his call for a National Security Council linked to the Chancellery during the first major televised trial shortly before the federal elections. “We will have to better equip our Bundeswehr,” he said during the three-way battle broadcast by RTL and ntv.
Baerbock accused the federal government of slipping into Afghanistan. “You have placed domestic political motives above the responsibility of foreign policy,” she said. Baerbock criticized the Foreign Ministry’s failure to issue visas quickly enough for people in need of protection.
Scholz, whose party friend Heiko Maas heads the Foreign Ministry, called for increased international cooperation and the availability of Bundeswehr soldiers for peace and security protection missions in the future. He said that with him as Minister of Finance, the defense budget amounted to more than 50 billion euros. “The wrong time for the Bundeswehr was in the black-yellow coalition,” said Scholz.
In the subsequent course of corona policy, all three chancellery candidates argued for maintaining the mask requirement on public transport. They were unanimously opposed to a new confinement. “There will be no new lockdown,” Scholz said. Baerbock explained: “From today we don’t need a new lockdwon.” The three candidates to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) have also campaigned to improve the vaccination rate.