B.In the CDU leadership, displeasure with Markus Söder is growing. The chairman of the CSU has been annoying the sister party for some time with taunts against their ministers, especially against Jens Spahn and Peter Altmaier. The day after the CDU’s election defeats in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, he repeated this criticism in such a way that it can be understood as an attack on CDU leader Armin Laschet.
Political correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Berlin.
Without naming a name, Söder said: “Anyone who wants to lead and who has the claim to number one, must also justify this claim through their work.” Laschet wants to be proclaimed chancellor candidate of the Union soon, but Söder hesitates to give his approval the speculation room that he would like to compete himself.
“You are not at all enthusiastic”
Compared to the FAS, a total of five people from CDU leadership bodies expressed anger about Söder. “You’re not at all enthusiastic,” said one. “Rather eaten.” Another said in relation to Söder’s criticism of the CDU after the recent defeats: “If you know that the big sister went so badly, then you are not doing what was done on Monday.” A third added: “It is in the nature of things that a CDU can’t let something like that sit on its own.”
On Monday, the dispute was sparked by a new proposal by Söder: In a press conference immediately after a phone call with Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel, the parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus, and others, he suggested that the Union should “take over the cabinet” in the election campaign “To form teams for the future”. In the CDU one was flabbergasted. Why, asked a source, should one “question one’s own government team” through a “shadow cabinet”?
One is particularly annoyed that Söder has apparently not discussed his future team idea with anyone. When he brought it up minutes after his call with Merkel and Laschet, he was asked whether the matter had been discussed. His answer: “We had also exchanged ideas, also in a somewhat larger group, this morning too, and I think that all in all are pretty much all of the same opinion.” On the other hand, one hears from the CDU: “Nobody knew about this team’s future.”
Accordingly, it only took hours before Laschet publicly rejected the proposal. After a meeting of the CDU board of directors, he said on Monday afternoon that the question of “competence team or not competence team, shadow cabinet or not shadow cabinet” would only be clarified later.
Söder continued his criticism of leading CDU politicians, although Laschet, as he said in the CDU executive committee on Monday, expressly asked him to refrain from doing so at the conference call the same morning. Söder told the FAS about Economics Minister Altmaier: “Nobody can say that everything will go smoothly. Last Sunday’s election defeats are not only due to local reasons. “
“Söder is very high on poker”
There are several speculations in the CDU about Söder’s motives. It is said that he has not yet clearly told anyone internally that he wanted to become Chancellor. Some believe he is building pressure to push through other ministries for his party in the next federal cabinet. “Söder is very serious about the cabinet positions of the CSU. His aim is more to get better ministries than the candidacy for chancellor, ”says one leader.
Another confirms that the CSU has shown interest in the defense departments as well as in business and research because its previous ministries (interior affairs, transport and development aid) have recently brought it no luck. Söder did not want to say anything about this assumption in an interview with the FAS.
In the meantime, there is open criticism of the CSU boss in the CDU on some points. It is about hints of Söder, which can be understood as if the EU should react to the faltering vaccine deliveries from the United States and Great Britain with export bans. On Monday he said it was unacceptable “that vaccine is constantly flowing out of Europe”. “We need to talk to the USA”, because America should not be “perhaps hoarding vaccine and vice versa Europe is waiting for it”. In an interview with the FAS, he called it “sensible to impose an EU export ban on vaccines, especially for countries that have higher vaccination rates than we do”.
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