GDoes Friedrich Merz belong to the upper middle class? How does he feel about the refugee policy and the paralyzed train stations in the eastern republic? Will the German citizen be able to make his tax return someday on a beer rug or will there be first a sterner punishment on tax evaders? Anne Will, Annalena Baerbock (Alliance 90 / The Greens) and Manuela Schwesig (SPD) had many questions to the candidate for leadership of the CDU party. The editor of "Tagesspiegel" Stephan-Andreas Casdorff was also authorized once or twice.
"Poor and rich, east and west, city and country – Germany is divided" should be the original theme of the Sunday night talk show. This also occupied the guests, but it was short and diffuse. In Saxony, the division is particularly evident, says the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schwesig. Green federal president Annalena Baerbock sees entire land sections in the east of the country "suspended" – by closed stations, few midwives, poor telecommunication networks and lower wages.
Although Friedrich Merz shows coldly when he sees how people in Chemnitz, for example, publicly show Hitler's salutation again, but one should not draw a distorted image, there are still many prosperous regions in the East. "We all underestimate how long this integration process takes," says the 63-year-old man. This pushes Manuela Schwesig in: Integration, which sounds as if Ossi had to fit into Western society. That is what this is about, which makes many of the eastern states of Germany feel like second-class citizens. "Integration is not a one-way street for me," Merz responds. So he can not completely neutralize the impression that he can not bridge the East-West divide.
Merz says he does not want to work out
After a quarter of an hour, the little themed chat abruptly ended, the candidate now had enough time to warm up, find the three women in the round. Where does Merz want to go with the CDU? Not right, but back to the party of the rule of law, he says. After all, there were doubts about this character trait of the CDU since the violation of the law of opening the border in 2015. No one can properly explain that there was no violation of the law, but the right of self-admission to Dublin III was applied. However, Baerbock gets wide publicity for his comments on the legality of the decision in 2015.
Anne Will is still not satisfied with Merz's response to the steering question. What is the core of the CDU brand, which he wants to revive? Merz eliminates terms like "conservatism of value," "healthy patriotism," "redemption of AFD voters." So right? No, Merz says, this can not be matched. He wants the CDU to be more conservative, and at the same time, some voters who left the country are being courted by the Greens. Since both should work at the same time, Merz can not really respond.
After no more innovative statements about political orientation were expected, the interrogation was dedicated to Merz's personal qualities and suitability for the post of CDU president. "I already have a feeling for the life of a normal citizen," says Merz, and "I know how parents are working every day with children." He has always condemned former business executives as immoral. "I'm absolutely clean," he responds to the question of how he's involved in such tax scams by corporations.
"I do not envy you by your private planes"
Manuela Schwesig is visibly annoyed by Merz's attempt to be realistic. His claim that he belongs to the "upper middle class" reverberates in the ARD studio. A few days ago, it became public knowledge that Merz earns about a million euros a year – but he does not consider himself among the higher classes.
For the first time, Merz's patience cries when Schwesig says he has made a lot of money in recent years. The sound does not match with it, but it also awakens the guest in such a way that there is finally some speed in the transmission. It is typical that – as it happens – merit would not be granted. But he did not want to keep a debate jealous.
The prime minister apparently also does not: "I do not envy you for your particular aircraft, I hate to fly," she notes. The fact that he will befriend his middle class definition, especially with low-income people, raises the question of how a partisan leader, Merz actually promotes social cohesion much less produces.
The actual topic of the program is very short
Merz makes clear what prerequisites political projects must fulfill in their philosophy: all is well, as long as it is reasonably accessible. German families, especially the middle class, are already partially burdened with social security contributions. A free Kita-Platz does not help, if in return less than the salary would remain.
De Manuela Schwesig Merz has to hear repeated complaints about financial market policy, the social system and current family policy. The lawyer, meanwhile, has accumulated the maximum form and responds each time objectively and calmly: The SPD has placed in this department only the minister. In addition, he is the first to the post of chairman of the party. You can move a lot, but not everything.
Anyone who has turned against Anne Will to hear a debate about the divided country was very disappointed. This was mainly due to the curiosity of the guests about the person Friedrich Merz. While its competitors Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Jens Spahn have to make full use of their stage at CDU regional conferences, Friedrich Merz seems to only have to attend a talk show on some subject matter to emphasize its application during the broadcast.