Letter: Europe Express
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When Armin Laschet went to Stralsund Hall to give the final Bundestag speech this year election campaign, a loud voice was heard in the crowd. But the joy was for the woman next to him.
“We want to see Mutti!” a group of boys sang, as the Black Eyed Peas hit “I Gotta Feeling” sounded on the scene. “Ohhhh Angela Merkel! Ahhhh! ”They continued.
Four days before the German election, the country’s former chancellor had come to Stralsund, a town where he had represented parliament for the past 31 years, to quell Laschet’s interest in running for office.
Europe’s first woman could leave politics after 16 years in power, but she still enjoys high-profile trials. And the hope in the Christian Democrat camp is that his popularity is still possible for his rival Laschet and build up the economic downturn of their party.
Research shows that the CDU and its Bavarian counterpart CSU have the support of 22% of voters, with the Social Democrats of the Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz at 25 percent and The greens at 17 percent. If the numbers are confirmed as correct, the CDU / CSU could face negative consequences for the national election.
Experts say the key to Scholz’s popularity was his success in establishing himself as Merkel’s successor – a calm, intelligent, and talented politician who can be trusted by voters.
Merkel’s role in Stralsund portrays Laschet, not Scholz, as his successor. He urged the people to “support Germany… And defend its security” by voting for the CDU / CSU.
Yet the crowd seems unsatisfied. “Laschet looks like a nice, friendly person, but a chancellor? No, ”said Birgit Labude, a local woman. It has no influence. ”
Merkel’s appearance on the famous Baltic port was unusual. Since becoming the CDU leader in 2018, he has often been politically neutral.
But a drop in CDU / CSU votes – almost halfway through the last 15 months – forced him to take action. “The building is on fire, the boss needs to take action,” said Andrea Römmele, professor of political communications at Hertie School in Berlin.
Römmele said his aim was to encourage CDU / CSU voters whose hatred of Laschet left them indifferent and hopeless.
“What the CDU / CSU should avoid is how its voters say ‘I don’t like Laschet, obviously I don’t want anyone else’ [to be chancellor]”But I think I’ll just stay home until election day,” he said. “This is a major threat to the CDU / CSU.”
Speaking in Stralsund, Laschet reiterated his warning that the Social Democrats would form an alliance with the Greens and the strong Linke party, which seeks to defeat Nato.
He said, “it was wrong” to raise taxes, as the SPD thought, while Germany wants more jobs and money. The CDU / CSU, says “has contributed to the internal and external security of the country… This is not possible with Red-Red-Green”.
But some viewers of Laschet were thinking about what happened in July when he was caught laughing at a camera while long-distance President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was paying tribute to those affected by the floods. “It was totally inappropriate,” said Burkhard Verch, a roommate listening to a talk at the town hall. “One of the reasons he was not taken here.”
Some of the critics inside Laschet said the incident was blast in the same way. But he still doubts Laschet’s lack of new ideas and a casual campaign.
“She did a campaign like Merkel – she runs big things, she does not fight for anything, she avoids any form of coercion,” said one CDU lawmaker. “Merkel can do this because she always has the best shows. Laschet does not. ”
Some in the crowd said the party was also disrupted by End of competition between Laschet and Markus Söder, Bavaria’s prime minister, on who should represent the CDU / CSU.
“They must have been determined internally, like all other parties – instead they appeared in public,” said Marine Schwerin, an accountant. “This disrupted the CDU / CSU. You felt you could no longer trust them.”
Commenting on Laschet’s opposition this Sunday, Schwerin said his loyalty to the outgoing chancellor deepens his commitment to the Christian Democrats.
“I don’t agree with the party as much as I did in 2017,” he said. “While Merkel was running.”