Germany goes to the polls on Sunday 26 September. The Social Democratic candidate, favored in the race for Angela Merkel’s succession, prevails over Armin Laschet of the CDU and Annalena Baerbock of the Greens. Sparks on climate and minimum wages
from our correspondent
BERLIN – To sum it up, Olaf Scholz was primarily concerned with projecting calm and authority. Armin Laschet tried to get out of the corner by surprisingly bringing out the issue of safety and showing himself less aggressive. While Annalena Baerbock went on the attack having nothing more to lose. But in the end little success, at least in the public’s perception. The Social Democratic candidate also won the third and final televised duel, or Triell according to the neologism, of the German election campaign. According to the hot survey conducted by Sat 1, 42% of the interviewees found him more convincing than his Christian-Democrat opponent (appreciated by 27%) and the environmentalist candidate, judged the winner by 25%.
One week from the vote, Scholz’s Spd still remains in the lead in voting intentions, with 26%, ahead of the CDU-CSU which recovers one point, going from 20% to 21%, which is not enough to speak of a reversal of the trend. The Greens lag behind, at 16% -17%. Social justice, climate change, pandemic and digitalisation were the four main themes of the debate. And once again, foreign policy has been confirmed as the great absentee of this electoral campaign. The most significant clash was on the subject of the guaranteed minimum wage that both Scholz and Baerbock propose to bring from 9 to 12 euros per hour.
a necessary and important reform, for me it will be the condition for any governing coalition. a question of people’s dignity, said the Social Democratic candidate. The candidate of the Greens recalled that in 16 years the gap between rich and poor has increased and that in Germany one in 5 children are below the poverty line: An unacceptable figure. Laschet, champion of the Rhine system, said he was against the increase, because it is the task of the social partners not of the government to agree on fairer wages. But it was easy for the other two to remind him that many employees are no longer union members. Both Scholz and Baerbock came out in favor of a greater tax burden on the highest income brackets.
it was certainly the best performance of Annalena Baerbock, which too late has acquired certainty and strength of arguments. I am fighting for a turning point where climate defense is no longer a half thing, for a policy that puts families at the center and for a foreign policy guided by human rights in the heart of Europe, he said in closing, the only one among the three candidates to evoke Germany’s international role. Between Scholz and Laschet there were no sparks from the previous time, but this ended up benefiting the Social Democratic candidate, who appeared always calm and master of arguments. On the possible coalitions, Scholz ruled out (like the other two) any alliance with the AfD, but also said that after so many years in the right government that the CDU-CSU goes to the opposition. An epitaph on the Big coalition.
September 19, 2021 (change September 19, 2021 | 22:54)