Christine Lambrecht: After the resignation of the defense minister, it is still unclear who will take over the office in the future
Markus Schreiber / AP
The step had been announced for a few days: Christine Lambrecht submitted her resignation on Monday morning.
Now Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to decide "promptly" on the successor at the head of the military department.
Scholz accepted Lambrecht's request for her dismissal, said deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann in Berlin.
"The Chancellor respects Ms. Lambrecht's decision and thanks her for the good work she has done as Minister of Defense during this difficult and challenging time," said Hoffmann.
"The Federal Chancellor will promptly submit a proposal to the Federal President for filling the position."
According to the spokesman for the Defense Ministry, Lambrecht will continue in office until a successor is named.
According to SPIEGEL information, however, appointments scheduled for Monday, such as a meeting with the coalition's defense politicians, were canceled at short notice.
A meeting with the new French ambassador was also planned for Monday.
It was initially unclear whether this would still take place.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said at the press conference that Lambrecht was not in the ministry.
The department said Lambrecht left the house at around 11:30 a.m.
CDU is pushing for a quick replacement
In the morning, Lambrecht had announced in a written statement that she was stepping down from the post of defense minister.
She asked Chancellor Scholz to be dismissed, the statement said.
There are no self-critical tones in it.
"The months of media focus on my person hardly allow factual reporting and discussion about the soldiers, the Bundeswehr and security policy decisions in the interests of the citizens of Germany," the statement said.
The valuable work of the servicewomen and men and the many motivated people in the business area must be in the foreground.
"I have therefore decided to make my position available."
CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja is calling for a speedy replacement following the resignation of the defense minister.
"We would have expected Chancellor Olaf Scholz to make decisions here earlier," he told Welt television.
"We now need clarity and competence for the Bundeswehr quickly." The troops must know who is leading them.
For the upcoming armaments projects and the decisions about possible tank deliveries to Ukraine, a quick successor is needed.
In fact, the Bundeswehr is faced with enormous tasks.
The Bundeswehr expert Carlo Masala warned before the new appointment to the defense department that Lambrecht's successor expected "a Herculean task", which is why assertiveness was required.
"The task is like squaring the circle," Masala told SPIEGEL, "he or she has to lead the Bundeswehr into the 21st century, make it fully operational, fundamentally reform the procurement process and at the same time not lose sight of the needs of the soldiers. «