Categories: Politics

Bundestag election: Transport Minister Scheuer wants to stay in office

The parties position themselves for the Bundestag election. Follow all developments in the news blog.

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer would like to continue his office in a new government despite widespread criticism because of the failed car toll. The CSU politician told the German Press Agency: “I really enjoy it. I will fight hard, in my constituency and then in the coalition negotiations, that this investment and innovation ministry will look good in the future. I still have a lot to do. “

Scheuer has been head of department since March 2018. The failure of the car toll fell during his term of office. “It’s 88 to 1,” he said, looking at it. “As the Ministry of Transport, we passed 88 ordinances and laws in this legislative period through the Bundestag and Bundesrat. We over-fulfilled the coalition agreement. The legislative period was pretty crisp, but also pretty result-oriented.” With regard to the railways, he emphasized: “In this legislative period we have given so much priority and put money into the rail system than ever before.”

The car toll – a CSU prestige project – was stopped as illegal by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in June 2019. The planned operators are demanding 560 million euros in damages after the federal government terminated the contracts after the judgment. Arbitration proceedings are ongoing. The opposition accuses Scheuer of serious violations of budgetary and public procurement law. The aim is also for the federal government to conclude the operator contracts at the end of 2018, before there was final legal certainty at the ECJ. Scheuer has strictly rejected allegations and the operator’s demands. There was also a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the car toll. (10.07.2021)

CSU calls for a flat-rate home office fee of 1000 euros per year

The CSU wants to promote working in the home office more, even beyond the pandemic. A home office flat rate of 1000 euros per year would be a signal to the modernizing world of work, said state group leader Alexander Dobrindt the Deutschlandfunk. This was intended to replace the flat rate of 600 euros, which was limited for the period of the pandemic. This demand should be included in the CSU’s program for the federal election, which traditionally should set Bavarian accents alongside the joint program with the CDU.

The pandemic has shown that more flexibility is needed in the world of work and that there will be more home offices in the future, said Dobrindt. The CSU wants to support this with incentives. The CSU politician rejected the right to work from home, as demanded by the SPD. In its election program, the SPD campaigns for a legal right to work from home for at least 24 days a year.

Eastern Commissioner calls for at least one minister from the east

In the event of the Union’s election victory, the Federal Government’s Eastern Commissioner has demanded that the CDU nominate at least one person from the new states for a ministerial office. The CDU politician Marco Wanderwitz told the German Press Agency: “If Armin Laschet becomes Chancellor and another cabinet member comes from North Rhine-Westphalia, then two have to come from the East.” Overall, the presence of East Germans in management positions must be further increased.

Apart from Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), there are currently no East Germans in the federal cabinet. Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) had given up her position in May after discussions about her doctoral thesis.

Wanderwitz presented the annual report on the status of German unity last Wednesday. He had made it clear that the people in the East had to be listened to more. Many people have “deepened basic skepticism” towards politics and democracy. The economic catch-up process has progressed. In addition, more authorities and research institutions have been settled in the new federal states. (10.07.2021)

SPD boss criticizes easing in NRW as “fair weather policy”

SPD boss Norbert Walter-Borjans has criticized the relaxation of corona measures in North Rhine-Westphalia as an election campaign maneuver by NRW Prime Minister and CDU chancellor candidate Armin Laschet. “What Armin Laschet is doing now is not based on reason, but rather fair weather policy with a view to the federal election,” said the SPD chairman Rheinische Post.

First of all, a higher vaccination rate is needed – that is only a matter of a few weeks, says Walter-Borjans. “If the state government is now pretending to be normal, it is almost a signal to the undecided not to take vaccination seriously,” he said. He has “absolute understanding” for everyone who wants to go to festivals, discos or sports events again. “What we certainly do not want is a fourth wave,” warned the SPD leader. The successes in fighting the pandemic should not be gambled away now.

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach also criticized the easing in NRW. This gives the “wrong signal” that the pandemic is over, Lauterbach said on Thursday evening on the ZDF program “Maybrit Illner”. The North Rhine-Westphalian Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) replied that the state government was not daring. There is also no federal state that tests so strictly, said Laumann in the ZDF broadcast.

From this Friday onwards, a new corona protection ordinance will apply in North Rhine-Westphalia, which provides for an extensive normalization of many areas of life in view of the low number of infections. Discos, fairgrounds and folk festivals are allowed again with small editions. In many areas there are also contact restrictions, mask and follow-up obligations – but not everywhere. (09.07.2021)

Laschet distances himself from statements of measure

CDU boss Armin Laschet has clearly distanced himself from the attacks by CDU Bundestag candidate Hans-Georg Maaßen on public media. “Our stance on public service broadcasting is crystal clear. Especially at a time like now, when there is so much fake news about the pandemic, strong public service broadcasting is important,” said Laschet at an event for the women’s magazine Brigitte. “That is the position of the entire CDU,” added the CDU chief, who did not even mention the name of the former President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Maaßen was formerly President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and is a direct candidate for the CDU in a constituency in southern Thuringia. He had recently caused indignation by accusing the public service media of tendentious reporting: “I no longer see the balance of the reporting,” he told the broadcaster tv.Berlin. There is a “clear left twist”. Maaßen spoke of connections between editorial staff and the left-wing extremist scene and brought an “NDR committee of inquiry” into discussion. The NDR produces the “Tagesschau” for the ARD. On Sunday evening he then emphasized that freedom of the press and broadcasting had constitutional status. The “biography of some editors” should also be put to the test. The CDU presidium had already clearly distanced itself from its previous statements on Monday. Laschet was quoted by participants as saying that Maaßen is damaging the party.

On Wednesday evening, however, the CDU boss made it clear that there are very high hurdles for exclusion from the party. If someone has a different opinion, you have to make this clear. Laschet added to the criticism of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP that he was silent on the Maaßen statements. You shouldn’t let the topics be pushed onto you. Maaßen address issues that are not the problems in Germany.

The course of the CDU is also very clear, Laschet emphasized: “We have to maintain the course of the center. We have to delimit ourselves clearly to the right.” With the AfD there will be and cannot be any cooperation. (07.07.2021)

Police union criticizes CDU poster

The police union (GdP) criticizes the CDU for an election campaign poster showing an employee disguised as a police officer. “Just as policemen are not allowed to go to party meetings in uniform, parties should not advertise themselves with fake policemen in our outfit,” said the deputy GdP federal chairman Jörg Radek picture. “We are there for all citizens, not the set for election programs, not even those of police friends. Without the accompanying text ‘Attention! this can also be punishable. “

CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak had presented his party’s election campaign and the associated posters on Tuesday – including the one with the apparently policewoman. Because of the restrictions and hygiene standards, no models or purchased pictures were used for the photos, rather they worked with employees and members of the CDU, it said. The posters should be pasted and put up with the start of postal voting in mid-August.

The CDU advertises itself with the slogan “Do Germany together”. The central element of the campaign for the federal election is the so-called “Union Circle” as a “strong symbol of solidarity,” said Ziemiak. “We bring people together.” In the coming months, party leader Armin Laschet wants to attract votes with a large-scale summer tour. The Union is also planning “theme weeks” in which they will each deal with a specific political topic broadly, as Ziemiak said. The CDU will spend a little more than 20 million euros on the election campaign – that’s about as much as in the previous elections. (07.07.2021)