Philipp Amthor (CDU) rails against traffic lights at "Anne Will". © NDR/Wolfgang Borrs
The poll numbers of the traffic light are falling rapidly - and the AfD is gaining. Who is to blame? Philipp Amthor wants to push the problem away from Anne Will's CDU.
Berlin - CDU member of the Bundestag Philipp Amthor had not been a guest on a political talk show for a long time. But on this evening, in the political talk show "Anne Will" in the first time, he gets the opportunity to pull off the leather against the traffic lights. Topic of the show: "Exhausted and dissatisfied – Is the traffic light losing the support of the population when it comes to climate protection?"
And Amthor plays his role excellently: "The policy of the federal government is unworldly and ignores the reality of the citizens' lives," he rails, speaking of a "communications disaster" and a "leaderless" government that has "gambled away the trust of the people". "Sheer horror" in relation to the traffic light, Amthor said later in the broadcast, had confronted him during his voter visits.
"Anne Will" - these guests discussed with:
- Katharina Dröge (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) - Chairwoman of the Bundestag parliamentary group
- Christian Dürr (FDP) - Chairman of the Bundestag Parliamentary Group
- Philipp Amthor (CDU) - Member of the German Bundestag
- Prof. Steffen Mau - Head of Department at the Institute of Sociology at the Humboldt University of Berlin
- Jana Hensel - Author
Anne Will: AfD high-altitude flight wants to blame Amthor on the government
The approval ratings for the traffic light government have fallen to 20 percent, Anne Will quotes the ARD-Deutschlandtrend. Many voters currently seem to give their votes to the AfD, which can look forward to enormous gains in the polls, so to speak - "without having done anything for it," as author and East expert Jana Hensel emphasizes and evaluates the gains above all as a protest.
Poll values of the AfD are 19 percent - FDP man Dürr: Merz wanted to halve!
Amthor sees the "chaos days in the traffic light coalition" as the "reason for the strengthening of the AfD". This is also the case in the allegedly "uncontrolled migration", in which "1000 refugees a day come to our country", "30,000 a month" and "without qualifications" - Amthor sums up.
FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr verbally fires at CDU parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz, "who had announced full-bodiedly when he took office as CDU party chairman that he wanted to reduce the AfD's share of the vote by half" - but was far from that. At that time, the Alternative for Germany was still at 15 percent, but now the figures have risen to around 19 percent. The highest value in the history of the AfD party and now almost as high as that of the SPD.
Dispute over heating law: What is the fault of the FDP for the rise of the AfD in the polls?
Will draws attention to the Building Energy Act (GEG) from the Ministry of Economics under Robert Habeck, which has come under criticism. As a rule, from 2024 onwards, only new heating systems that are powered by at least 65 percent renewable energies will be installed - a decisive step towards reducing climate values. Nevertheless, more than 60 percent of people in Germany fear that the planned heating transition in particular will put too much strain on personal finances. Almost the same number of people do not feel involved in the content of the turnaround. They lack information on how the change is to be carried out, according to Anne Will.
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Berlin sociologist warns Anne Will: People in the East are "exhausted of change"
Sociologist Prof. Steffen Mau from the Humboldt University in Berlin takes the financial concerns of citizens seriously: "People are exhausted by change. Especially in the east of Germany," he says, referring to the different german-German history: While reunification was perceived as a gain for most West Germans, it was often accompanied by losses for many people in the East. The scientist concludes that the government must adapt more to the needs of the people, take them with it and learn to "invest in the minds and mentality of the citizens".
The chairwoman of the parliamentary group, Katharina Dröge (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), promises that care has been taken to "shape climate protection socially and pragmatically". But FDP politician Dürr makes no secret of his party's dissatisfaction with the draft from the Greens' government colleagues. His point of criticism, however, is different: the plan is not open enough to the market. The CDU is compliant. Philipp Amthor is also of the opinion that the "many perspectives of rural areas are not taken into account" in the heat transition and that it misses "the reality of people's lives".
Will refers to FDP contacts with the oil lobby: Do they allow themselves to be harnessed to the cart?
Anne Will examines the attitude of the FDP again. The moderator refers to FDP MP Frank Schäffler, managing director of the Prometheus Freedom Institute and, according to Will, "part of a worldwide network that has the best contacts with the oil company Exxon-Mobil". The moderator's question: "Do you allow yourself to be harnessed to the carts of the fossil fuel lobbyists?" Dürr is evasive: "We ourselves have made the proposal to bring forward emissions trading in order to achieve the climate protection targets more quickly," he emphasizes instead. Will objects: "Mr. Lindner immediately said we couldn't do it." Dürr disagrees, but he cannot convincingly refute the accusation.
The author ("Zonenkinder") and expert on Eastern Europe Jana Hensel addresses the criticism of poor government communication and finds that Economics Minister Robert Habeck has "for the first time been abandoned by his intuition to know when, where and how much to communicate with people". In the case of Olaf Scholz, she is less conciliatory: He has "not yet found a relationship with climate protection policy," Hensel said. The chancellor talks a lot, "but he says next to nothing." Sociologist Mau adds: "This is a once-in-a-century task, and we're getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty!" The government is getting tangled up in this and seems overwhelmed in the face of the "socio-ecological transformation" - from the "fossil to a post-fossil world".
Conclusion of the "Anne Will" talk
The political guests – especially those from the CDU and FPD – were keen to emphasise that they should concentrate primarily on clientelism. In the case of opposition politician Philipp Amthor, this could still be understood as a political incentive to those responsible for the government. On the other hand, FDP politician Christian Dürr took a deeper look with this attitude. He hinted that the government's view of the "big picture" is indeed beginning to crumble. (Verena Schulemann)