Friedrich Merz: No cooperation with AfD politics

Against the background of relatively high poll numbers for the AfD, CDU leader Friedrich Merz has once again clearly spoken out against working with the party. He said on Sunday evening in the ZDF “heute journal”: “As long as I am party leader of the CDU, there will be no cooperation with this party.” The AfD is xenophobic and anti-Semitic, said Merz.

In the ARD “Germany trend” the AfD had recently caught up with the SPD with 18 percent. The Insa survey published over the weekend for the picture on sunday sees the party, which is classified by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a suspected right-wing extremist, at 19 percent, on a par with the SPD. The AfD has particularly good values ​​in the east of the country. In surveys in Brandenburg, for example, it was 23 percent, in Saxony 26 percent and in Thuringia 28 percent. New state parliaments will be elected in the three federal states in the coming year.

Merz said the cause of the AfD’s strength is predominantly the weakness of the traffic light government. “If we had a technically and politically well working government, then the AfD wouldn’t be at 18 percent.” Merz specifically named the Greens in the government. “People in Germany are just tired of this kind of paternalism. And now they’re venting it.”

Scholz: AfD is a “bad mood party”

On the other hand, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had on Saturday evening at an event of the Time in Hamburg pointed to other countries where right-wing populist parties have also become stronger. He spoke of “parties in a bad mood” and also explained the development with uncertainties in a “time of upheaval” with many major problems at the same time. Scholz mentioned Corona, the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and climate change.

AfD chairwoman Alice Weidel rejected Scholz’s designation of her party as a “bad mood party”. “The citizens have actually lost their laughter,” said Weidel. “But that’s not due to a supposedly bad-tempered AfD, but to an amateur theater group that delivers a sad political cabaret in the federal cabinet every day.”

When Scholz describes the AfD as a “bad mood party” that only appeals to frustrated diehards, it testifies to “complete unworldliness and aloofness,” said the co-party leader. In contrast to the traffic light government, the AfD has sustainable concepts in the areas of energy, social affairs and migration. “The voters, who don’t allow themselves to be unsettled by clumsy defamation of the only opposition force, see that too.”

CDU Vice Karin Prien also speaks of government mistakes, but sets the accent differently than her party leader. “Of course, traffic light policy contributes to these poll numbers, but we as the CDU should not increase people’s anger,” said Prien the World. It comes down to a matter-of-fact tone and not to “fight one another in secondary theaters of war”. A Kulturkampf has never contributed to the cohesion of society. Merz had written on Twitter on the subject of gender-fair language: “With every gendered news program, a few hundred more votes go to the AfD.”

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