Wednesday, October 20

Merkel’s successor shortens distances after latest debate


Berlin

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The last televised debate, in which the candidates of the main six political parties participated last night, served to confirm the German Social Democrat as the favorite candidate, although with an increasingly narrow distance with the conservative CDU of Armin Laschet, who in the polls of opinion has dropped to two percentage points. The SPD obtains 25% of the votes in the last Civey poll, while the CDU obtains 23%. A new grand coalition is still not possible, so the winner will have to negotiate with the Greens (15%), the FDP liberals (12%) and the extreme left of Dei Linke (6%). One of the novelties of this six-party debate was the presence of Markus Söder, president of Bavaria and leader of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of the CDU, who, rejected as a candidate, has been exercising a critical role with Laschet, which has resulted in a damaging fire. friend.

Last night, however, they staged a very remarkable unity and cordiality and Söder poured all his anger against Alternative for Germany (AfD), which from the extreme right has a conservative vote and still receives 10% of the votes in the polls. “You, with your political message, inject hatred into society and are ultimately responsible for events such as the unfortunate murder,” he reproached the AfD candidate, Alce Weidel. He was referring to the event that occurred on Wednesday in Idar-Obertein, where a gas station customer shot a 20-year-old shop assistant to the head that, in compliance with current regulations, refused to attend to him if he was not wearing the regulation mask indoors. “AfD is using people who feel insecure, encouraging them to extreme behaviors and the results are those that we have to regret now,” he insisted. Apart from the duel over what happened, which was unanimous, the candidates argued about Europe and the relations that Germany should maintain with China or Russia.

“Of course we criticize NATO. Yes, we need another security architecture ”, said Die Linke candidate Janine Wissler clearly, adding that“ we do not agree on spending 2% of GDP on security because we do not believe that more weaponry makes the world safer, but quite the contrary. With this statement he showed the main difficulty that Scholz will encounter if he decides to organize a left-wing coalition. “We want that money to fight the pandemic, for housing, for climate, see what happened in Afghanistan, it has been a disaster. So much armament has been of no use “, he gave as an example. Laschet insisted that Germany is an important country for Europe for its economy and political power, but he was more cautious than Scholz in putting German resources at the disposal of the EU. ‘We need a sovereign and autonomous Europe. We should be in a position to secure the Kabul airport and we need more Europe, joint defense projects to be able to defend ourselves if the United States steps back, “he said. The green candidate, Annalena Baerbock, affirmed for her part that “Europe does not fill the gap that the US is leaving, that gap is being filled by authoritarian countries like Russia, so that democracy is backing down in the world. And the reaction of the grand coalition has been an investment agreement with China! We need a common European policy towards China and a new chapter on foreign affairs and human rights. ‘ Weidel, for his part, was in favor of “keeping Poland in the EU at any cost.”

Generous with debt

The Social Democratic candidate repeated his ambitious European agenda, especially generous with debt policy, and received in response from the liberal leader, Christian Lindner, a call that “Europe must be able to negotiate, for that other majority systems are needed, and the The common market must be more operational, just like the banks. ‘ Lindner also called for more integration in climate policy, avoid a “special road” from Germany both in terms of climate and security, although he advised great care with the treatment of the debt and called on the EU to take care of the transatlantic relationship much more than until now. “USA. it has become an insecure partner and I cannot understand why there are no agreements with them like the ones we have with China, “he said.

Lindner defended the need for the debt limit to remain in the German Constitution and was against the expropriation of 200,000 homes from large landlords that Berliners will vote in a local referendum on Sunday, in conjunction with the general elections. Söder ignored the matter: “that will be decided by the Constitutional Court.” “But the Constitutional Court will not solve the problem of people who cannot pay high housing prices,” replied the green Baerbock, “land is also expropriated to build railroad tracks and it is not a drama.” Both the Greens and Die Linke agree to cap rental prices, while Scholz insisted on the need for a five-year moratorium that prevents raising prices on new contracts while more housing is built. “I do not recognize reality in his words,” Laschet countered, recalling that the SPD, in coalition with Die Linke and the Greens in Berlin, have carried out a price limit and are willing to carry out expropriations. «His words are soft, he tries to propose an intermediate option, but the reality is that his party is carrying out where it governs extreme housing policies that scare investment and that is causing extreme tension between supply and demand in the market real estate, “he replied.

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