Grasbrunn – Söder poisons against the Greens – district of Munich

No, the prime minister, who usually likes to hug everyone, doesn’t hug the huge steed next to which he is standing in the shade of the trees at Gut Keferloh on this summery Monday afternoon. Markus Söder only gently strokes the animal – and makes a daring comparison. “I’m a draft horse too,” he says. In other words, a being with a higher body weight but also a calmer temperament that is used to carrying or pulling heavy loads. And that’s how the draft horse Söder sees himself, who then lets himself be pulled by the horses in the carriage towards the marquee: as the strong person who needs it in Bavaria and who has to hold the country together, as he will say later.

The Keferloher Montag, once the largest folk festival in Bavaria with its more than 1000-year history, has always been a political event, especially in election years. For Söder it is the fourth appearance at the event in the east of Munich. But the Monday in Keferloh has never been so charged and full of excitement as it was this year. Because the day before Söder spoke in the beer tent, his deputy, Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger from the free voters. And that was while the Prime Minister was in Munich because of the leaflet affair about Aiwanger’s future. He could have dumped his deputy in cold blood—but he didn’t; and gave the Free Voters boss the chance to light up a completely filled tent and heat up the atmosphere again.

Even when Söders moves in to the sounds of the parade march and behind several flag delegations, the tent is booming on Monday. It shines in the colors white and blue, entirely to Söder’s taste. A splash of red like Grasbrunn’s Mayor Klaus Korneder doesn’t really fit in there. But he is still allowed to say hello and remembers Söder’s previous visit, when he suspected that he would hardly have anything to laugh about for the next few hours, to which the CSU boss replied that he should rather listen and learn. This time, the head of the town hall says he will only wish the event a good course. If he is so capable of learning, Söder asks, why is he still in the SPD? That’s when enthusiasm breaks out in the tent for the first time.

Red among blacks: Grasbrunn’s mayor Klaus Korneder (front) with CSU MPs Kerstin Schreyer and Ernst Weidenbusch.

(Photo: Claus Schunk/)

But Söder is also fighting this afternoon. After the Gillamoos, it is the second beer tent that he has played in that day, and a third appearance in Erding will follow. The Prime Minister is mainly working on the Greens. On their supposedly ideology-driven politics, on gender, on the heating law.

On the other hand, one name did not come up that afternoon in Keferloh: that of his deputy Hubert Aiwanger, whom he had left in office on probation the day before. Which can be said to have spoiled his mood for a week. No mention, no hint, no blame, but also no assistance – the prime minister completely ignores the fact that a little more than 24 hours earlier, Aiwanger repeated his allegations of a smear campaign against himself in the affair surrounding the anti-Semitic pamphlet in the same place.

State election 2023: keynote speaker Markus Söder with the straw hat typical of Keferloher Monday.

Speaker Markus Söder with the straw hat typical for the Keferloher Monday.

(Photo: Claus Schunk)

Even the Christian Socialists from the district of Munich don’t really want to talk about their coalition partner. However, the CSU district chief and member of the Bundestag Florian Hahn from Ottobrunn supports his party leader: “I think Söder is right when he says that being thrown out would not be proportionate.” The voters would now have to decide in the election on October 8th. “I’m not worried about that,” he says.

An overly critical internal debate would also not fit into the picture of Söder’s election campaign, which is mainly held in the beer tent, in front of large, beer-loving crowds. In the country, in the village, where, from Söder’s point of view, the world is still fine. Where the “village community” is still intact, people support each other, the volunteer fire brigade still plays a role, as does the church – there is more sense in every Bavarian village than in any Berlin government alliance, he rumbles. And Bavaria in general, this great country that 90 percent of the people wanted to exchange for their own homeland if they could: the lowest unemployment, the lowest crime rate, the greatest farmers, the most masters. And the traffic light in Berlin? Just argue, lose contact with people, don’t care about local concerns, don’t deal with migration issues.

It matters in the beer tent when Söder then takes another look at the woke politics of the Greens, the feminist foreign policy of Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the debates about what to wear or what to eat. “And there is a force that constantly demands it.” Sure, the Greens. And Söder gives them another rebuff that makes the beer tent tremble: With him, the eco-party will not exist in the state government.

He would probably prefer not to need free voters in government – he has the self-confidence for a one-man government. When Johannes Bußjäger, the organizer of the Keferloher Monday, asked Söder who, according to surveys, 97 percent of Germans would trust, the cold-blooded draftsman in the first row of beer sets uttered a barely audible “Me”. But the bus hunter has to vehemently disagree: “No, the fire brigade.” And the man must know. He is commander of the Grasbrunn volunteer fire department.

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