The new CDU chairman is not a talent for organization, says SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans. Armin Laschet did not offer any real social content.
taz: Mr. Walter-Borjans, are you sorry that BlackRock man Merz did not become CDU boss?
Norbert Walter-Borjans: Merz showed again on Saturday that he can alienate people in his party. But that is not our criterion for profiling the SPD. We get along with Armin Laschet too.
But Laschet is a difficult opponent with his mining folklore. It sounded like a copy of Johannes Rau – reconciling instead of dividing.
In the pandemic in particular, I believe in reconciliation rather than division. Laschet consciously uses this reference to Johannes Rau. But there is a difference between this facade and the real politics that black and yellow does in NRW. Unleashing the economy is high on the agenda there. In the pandemic, the CDU is calling for a moratorium on climate and consumer protection and employee rights. That too is Laschet – behind his father’s miner brand.
You know him from NRW. Where are its weaknesses?
Reliable organization is not his strength. He has shown that again and again – from lost exams in a seminar he leads to the mess at the NRW schools in Corona times. Expertise, tenacity and ability to mediate when negotiating, regardless of whether with the countries or the heads of state worldwide – Angela Merkel and Olaf Scholz have that. With Armin Laschet, I would have had a rather restless sleep when it comes to crisis management.
Will something change for the Groko with Laschet?
Laschet puts great emphasis on social cohesion. We’ll take him at his word. The CDU and CSU are currently stuck on a number of issues in the Groko.
Do you expect support in the debt relief of the municipalities that the SPD wants?
Yes, Laschet has approved of that so far. He is fishing in the reservoir of social democratic voters. Now we will see if there is any content behind the heading. The paper by Laschet and Spahn shows: With their “Burden moratorium for the economy” they declare the common good to be an annoying cost factor.
Do you expect an agreement in Groko’s dispute over the supply chain law?
We are ready for it. What is not possible with us, however, is that only large companies are recorded and the trade relations behind the direct goods exporter remain in the dark. It must be excluded that Uyghurs pick cotton in forced labor, but a “clean” cloth producer in China is allowed to market the cotton to us. We are ready to compromise.
The NGOs tell us: the situation is sometimes so bad, it is better to reach a compromise than to achieve nothing with mere teaching. But a compromise that doesn’t achieve anything is the worst possible solution.
There is also a dispute over the ban on converting rental apartments and the lobby register. Is there an agreement?
68, next to Saskia Esken is one of the two federal chairmen of the SPD. From 2010 to 2017 Walter-Borjans was Finance Minister in North Rhine-Westphalia in Hannelore Kraft’s cabinet.
We already had an agreement on the conversion ban. But Seehofer just pretends that they don’t exist. That needs to change. The CDU and CSU do not move in the lobby register. Apparently there are some good reasons to prevent future knowledge of which BlackRock lobbyists want to be involved in legislation.
Joe Biden will be sworn in as US President on Wednesday. What does that mean for Germany?
The return to a partnership. With controversies on an equal footing.
Does the demand remain that US nuclear weapons should be withdrawn from Germany?
Yes, they are no longer a contemporary security policy contribution. We want a Europe free of nuclear weapons.
The federal government does not want to join the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty. Heiko Maas is also against it. What do you say?
It doesn’t help to act against the partner. As a first step, we should take part in this year’s conference as observers and exert influence there.
Maas sees it differently.
Above all, Heiko Maas does not want a German solo effort. I respect that. Germany must work for peacebuilding solutions in NATO.