Status: 06.12.2023, 05:05 a.m.
By: Jens Kiffmeier, Franziska Schwarz
Bavaria's Prime Minister Söder is currently giving his government statement live – and once again he is being asked the K question. But Bavaria is relying on AI in the future.
- In the state parliament in Munich: Markus Söder makes government statement
- Gender ban in Bavaria: Minister-President announces high-tech offensive and gender ban
- Selection of the CDU/CSU's candidate for chancellor: CSU leader sees Friedrich Merz as "favorite"
- This news ticker on Söder's government statement will be updated continuously.
Update from 5 December, 17:02 p.m.: After the government statement by Markus Söder (CSU), the opposition in the Bavarian state parliament has reacted with sharp criticism. Green parliamentary group leader Katharina Schulze accused the prime minister of "catastrophic mistakes" in economic and energy policy. "You have failed in Bavaria in the expansion of renewable energies – that is a fact," Schulze said on Tuesday after Söder's speech in the state parliament. In truth, Bavaria is massively lagging behind. The state government is massively damaging Bavaria as a business location and risking higher electricity prices.
"With all due respect to your moon landings – but for a start, a train that runs would be enough for me," Schulze said, referring to Söder's high-tech policy – and against the background of the fact that several days after the massive snowfall in Bavaria, many trains and suburban trains are still at a standstill. In addition, there was a shortage of 70,000 daycare places in Bavaria. "Don't just push for Berlin, but tackle your own tasks courageously," Schulze demanded of Söder, who had previously launched harsh attacks on Berlin's traffic light coalition.
Update from December 5, 16:05 p.m.: AfD parliamentary group leader Katrin Ebner-Steiner has sharply attacked Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) after his first government statement of the new legislative period. On the eve of St. Nicholas' Day, Söder had delivered a fairy tale hour. His speech was nothing more than a "litany of platitudes from the Christian Social phrase machine". "No clear statements, no clear course of action," the AfD politician criticized.
Government statement by Markus Söder (CSU) takes longer than planned
Update from 5 December, 15.28 pm: After a one-and-a-half-hour speech, Markus Söder (CSU) ends his government statement in the Bavarian state parliament. A speech of 30 minutes was planned. So the schedule is messed up. The next step is the debate. The first is the AfD. Then comes the CSU.
Update from 5 December, 15:05 p.m.: In addition to all the substantive guidelines, Söder continues to plead for a "strong state" in the future. There will be no skimping on security, the Prime Minister promises. The Free State of Bavaria has the highest clearance rate for crimes and has had the lowest crime rate in Germany for 44 years. To ensure that this remains the case, the police and the judiciary will continue to be built up and strengthened. "Crooks, on the other hand, should go elsewhere," the head of government said in his government statement.
Pisa test is a "slap in the face": Söder insists on better education
Update from 5 December, 14.45 p.m.: In addition to research, education in the Free State is also to be improved. Söder announces the recruitment of thousands of new teachers. To this end, the pay of teachers is also to be increased. Because the Pisa test published on Tuesday is a "slap in the face", according to Söder. The Prime Minister could not resist taking a swipe at the north. "We want to keep our high school diploma and not fall to the level of Bremen."
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Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (archive photo) explains the goals for the new legislative period in Munich today. © Frank Hoermann/Imago
Against this background, Bavarian pupils are to be made familiar with the constitution in the future. This is also important to prevent right-wing extremist tendencies in society, Söder said. "Anyone who writes 'Sieg Heil' in a guest book must have had something fundamentally wrong in life," said the head of government.
Cannabis and gendering: Söder accuses traffic light coalition of wrong accents
Update from 5 December, 14.37 p.m.: However, Söder clearly rejects gendering. His state government will prohibit this in schools – and also in administration. Literally, Söder said: "For Bavaria, I can say: with us there will be no mandatory gendering. On the contrary, we will even prohibit gendering in schools and administration." At the same time, Söder accused the traffic light government in the federal government of overdoing it with projects such as cannabis legalization, gendering and the right to self-determination. "Don't we have any other problems in Germany?" he asked.
Government statement live: Söder wants to promote expansion of renewables and AI research
Update from 5 December, 14.30 pm: According to Söder, the promotion of science and research is to become a "centerpiece" of the government's future work. "Bavaria is the Silicon Valley of Germany," says the head of government. To ensure that this remains the case, the state government is pumping 5.5 billion euros into this area. The focus will be on the further development of artificial intelligence. Among other things, the foundation of a new AI university in Nuremberg is planned. "This is the sound of the future á la Bavarian," Söder said in his government statement.
Update from 5 December, 14.10 p.m.: Labour market, education or security – for Markus Söder (CSU), the Free State remains number one within Germany in many areas. And all positive developments are financed "debt-free", says the head of government. And despite all the criticism, the expansion of renewable energies is also making progress in Bavaria. "We have the highest installed capacity of all federal states," says Söder. "Acknowledge reality for once," the Prime Minister adds, addressing the Greens.
In the expansion of renewables, the Bavarian coalition wants to focus on the promotion of green hydrogen in the coming years. To this end, Söder announced the construction of a pipeline – "from the Adriatic Sea to Bavaria". But in all possible scenarios, this alone will not be enough. That is why it is important to continue to rely on nuclear power in the future and to advance nuclear fusion in Bavaria. In the case of e-mobility, Söder calls for a better state subsidy from the federal government so that the "domestic market is not flooded with e-cars from China". What is needed now is a "patriotic economic policy".
Markus Söder (CSU) starts government statement with attack on the traffic light coalition
Update from 5 December, 14:00 p.m.: Here we go. Markus Söder starts with his government statement – and immediately with attacks on the federal government. Germany is in crisis and the traffic light coalition is overwhelmed, says the Prime Minister in his government statement, presenting the Free State as a counterexample. "Luckily, we live in Bavaria. Luckily, we're doing better. And we want to keep it that way," Söder said to the applause of his coalition.
But in the opinion of the CSU, the policy of the federal government harms the economy in the Free State. "If Bavaria were alone, I wouldn't worry about the economy. But we are in Germany and we are suffering from the poor location conditions of our nation," Söder said. The problems are home-made and caused by the traffic lights. "While other countries are experiencing strong economic growth despite the crisis, Germany is falling far behind. We need a different economic policy."
The belief that the economy can only be strengthened with national debt is a fallacy, Söder said. Germany is not a "country of state dirigisme or state capitalism, but of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises." What is needed are less over-subsidized individual projects such as chip factories, but rather broad-based support: lower taxes, lower energy prices, less bureaucracy and a sensible welfare state. "It works."
Government statement by Söder in the state parliament in Munich
Update from 5 December, 13:51 p.m.: Where is Bavaria heading in the coming years? In a few minutes, Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) will make his government statement. The countdown is on.
Ahead of government statement: Söder names criteria for K-question – and names favourite
First reported on 5 December, 10.51 a.m.: Munich – What will Markus Söder address in his government statement after the Bavarian elections? Details about the contents of his speech scheduled for today were not initially available, according to dpa. However, it is to be expected that Söder will draw an arc to the situation of the Free State starting from the present to the goals for the election period, the news agency reported in advance. That sounds vague at best.
Nevertheless, Bavaria's Prime Minister gave a hint for important decisions in the future before his government statement. CSU leader Söder named criteria for the selection of the next chancellor candidate of the CDU/CSU. "The key question in the chancellor candidacy is: Who can bundle the votes of the CDU/CSU the most? After that, the CDU will have to decide," the Bavarian prime minister told Stern magazine.
"We're not running here for a holiday job, it's about making Germany fit," Söder continued. "It's like a penalty shootout: who can you trust with the last penalty? That's the stuff politicians have to be made of – whether they're prime minister or want to be chancellor."
Söder sees Merz "certainly" as the "favorite" in the K question
In the event of an early election, CDU leader Friedrich Merz is "certainly the favorite," Söder said. He denied his own interest in running for chancellor. "An option as a candidate for chancellor is offered to a CSU chairman at most once in a lifetime." Söder described the cooperation with Merz as "really very good".
Söder outlines new goals of the state government
This means that Söder's focus will probably continue to be on Bavaria. But how have the government statements gone so far for Söder, who has been prime minister since 2018? Especially during the Corona pandemic, he had made a large number of government statements to explain the sometimes very drastic interventions in people's everyday lives and fundamental rights. So far, Söder had last given a corresponding speech on the course of the state government in March 2022, at that time under the impression of the Ukraine war that had started shortly before.
Bavaria's AfD now has the right to speak in the state parliament
Government statements always give the opposition an opportunity to make a fundamental criticism of the course of the state government. After the AfD was able to significantly increase its share of the vote in the elections in October, the right-wing populists are entitled to the opposition's first right to speak for the first time. In the previous parliamentary term, the Greens had the right to make the first reply. (frs/dpa)