Updated: 07/17/20218:09 pm
Storms have hit Erftstadt in North Rhine-Westphalia hard. Federal President Steinmeier assured help. But Laschet caused a scandal – and now apologizes.
Update from July 17th, 8 p.m .: Union Chancellor candidate Laschet has now commented on the laughing incident in Erftstadt in North Rhine-Westphalia. “The fate of those affected is close to our hearts, and we have heard of it in many conversations,” wrote the NRW Prime Minister. “All the more I regret the impression that was created through a conversation. This was inappropriate and I am sorry. “
First report from July 17th, 7 p.m .:
Erftstadt, North Rhine-Westphalia – A video circulating in online networks is currently causing outrage. In the background: A laughing NRW Prime Minister Laschet – during a visit to Erftstadt, which was badly hit by the storm. The SPD reacted indignantly.
“I’m really speechless,” wrote SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil on Twitter on Saturday. To do this, he linked to a video circulating there. On it you can see: A visibly battered Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who assures those affected in the disaster area solidarity and help – and a laughing Union Chancellor candidate in the background together with other people present
Storm disaster: Steinmeier visibly affected – Laschet causes outrage with a laugh
SPD Deputy Chief Kevin Kühnert also reacted to the snapshot: And called it “a question of character”. Steinmeier and Laschet had previously made a picture of the situation in the hard hit place. Both thanked the emergency services. The Prime Minister promised that the state of North Rhine-Westphalia would “do everything possible” to organize direct aid for those affected.
Immediately afterwards, the hashtags “Laschetlacht” and “LaschetDarfNichtKanzlerWerden” trended on Twitter. Numerous people commented on the video recording. Left-wing politician Niema Movassat added: “Yes, as a candidate for chancellor you don’t have to be deadly serious. But when the Federal President talks about aid for flood victims, you as a candidate for Chancellor and Prime Minister listen and don’t smirk. ”
Union Chancellor candidate and NRW Prime Minister Laschet on the road in disaster areas
The video sequence only shows a short excerpt from the press conference. In the other scenes Laschet can be seen with a serious expression. The NRW Prime Minister had shown himself to be seriously affected by the storm in another situation. He is currently in the areas badly affected by flooding. But a recent interview with a WDR journalist also caused a stir.
In Erftstadt, the Erft had overflowed numerous houses and caused them to collapse. Several houses and parts of a historic castle collapsed in landslides. (dpa / aka)
List of rubric lists: © Marius Becker / dpa