It is not often that Armin Laschet has no answer to a journalist's question. It was like that on Sunday in the ARD summer interview. Tina Hassel wanted to know from him what Angela Merkel could do better than him. It would have been the moment to praise the Chancellor once again - ultimately also from the CDU, although many CDU members no longer wanted to admit this at times.
But Laschet simply said: "I don't know."
The interview remained largely at this level of knowledge. Not much new came from Laschet. He was not even asked about the Maaßen case.
When things got uncomfortable for him, he evaded. When Hassel reproached him that wealthy people would benefit most financially from a Union election victory, Laschet simply said: "I sometimes wonder what is being calculated." The finding did not come from any hobby economist, but from the Leibniz Center for European Economic Research.
Laschet, on the other hand, was not at a loss for criticism of the other parties: Laschet accused the SPD chairman Saskia Esken of instrumentalizing the corona crisis in party politics. This had previously criticized the easing policy of the black and yellow government in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, NRW has only decided to relax the corona for a value of the seven-day incidence between zero and ten, emphasized the CDU boss. Baden-Württemberg with a green Prime Minister and the SPD-led Lower Saxony proceeded similarly.
On the subject of child vaccinations, the CDU candidate for Chancellor opposed the party leader Schäuble: "I follow the permanent vaccination commission, these are experts who weigh the risks," said Laschet. You shouldn't put pressure on them now, but trust their expertise.
Attacks against the SPD
Schäuble had previously in an interview said with the "Bild" newspaper: “Younger people should be vaccinated if they want to. If, by vaccinating 12 to 17-year-olds, we can avoid restrictions in school operations, then that is a weighty argument.
Laschet emphasized that the compulsory test in schools must remain. In addition, at the start of school you have to stick to the mask requirement in class. Only if the incidence figures then remained stable, one could do without it. He accused Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) to be completely wrong with his demand for a complete lifting of the Corona requirements in August. The Corona school summit called for by the Greens is unnecessary because the Conference of Ministers of Education is already meeting with experts.
Laschet had bad news for landlords: They too would have to expect To participate in the additional costs of the CO2 price on oil and gas in the future. "The current solution that the landlord does practically nothing will not last," said Laschet on Sunday in the ARD "summer interview". In the short term, just no other solution was conceivable, he added.
The federal government announced a compromise in mid-May: In future, landlords should bear half the costs of the CO1 price that has been in effect since January 2st. The SPD had fought for the compromise for months. However, the project ultimately failed due to the veto of the Union faction in the Bundestag, so that tenants must initially continue to bear the additional costs alone.
Laschet would like more international efforts in climate protection
You need a solution that does justice to both, said Laschet. He pointed out that landlords are often people who have a single house. "That is their old-age provision and that is why it has to be solved in a socially fair manner."
When it comes to climate protection, the CDU boss advocated, among other things, ensuring more engagement at the international level. "We urgently need major international efforts." There is too little dynamism. In this context, he called for faster planning and approval procedures for Germany. If there is to be less flown, railway lines have to be built faster. Otherwise, Laschet remained vague as to how exactly Germany could achieve the ambitious climate target of the Paris Agreement.
He reiterated that from the Union's point of view, tax increases were the wrong means. He believes that more money will be made through economic growth and more people in employment. The key question is how the state can get better income after the corona pandemic.
During the crisis, a lot of money was used to maintain liquidity in companies so that they could invest again now if possible. “Increasing taxes now would be exactly the wrong approach. We have to get back to economic growth. ”This and a return to full employment will earn more money. Tax increases would be poison at the moment.
Laschet wants to ensure more diversity in the cabinet than Merkel
In the event of an election victory, Laschet wants to fill the federal cabinet with more diverse people than has been the case so far. Both in the administration and at the top of the government, “diversity must be a principle”. Laschet also set himself apart from the previous cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel. This diversity is not currently available, said the CDU chief. “The Federal Cabinet and the Bundestag do not reflect the diverse German society.
I would add a few highlights after the election, ”he added. Laschet had already emphasized several times that he also wanted to take into account representatives of the various party wings. Therefore, not all prominent CDU politicians from North Rhine-Westphalia could become ministers. The previous Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia also emphasized that he wanted to move to Berlin regardless of the outcome of the election.
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Race for the Chancellery Armin Laschet now has a clear advantage
On the question of who should become the new Federal President in February, Laschet did not commit himself. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had declared his readiness for a second term. The decision is made by the Federal Assembly, which consists of representatives from the Federation and the Länder. (with agencies)