Status: 10.12.2023, 18:37 PM
By: Maximilian Kurz
In an interview, CDU leader Friedrich Merz once again criticized the government work of the traffic light coalition. He sees opportunities for his party in the crisis.
Berlin – In an interview with Focus, opposition leader Friedrich Merz discusses the economic situation in Germany and the German government. In doing so, he directed direct criticism at the traffic light.
For example, Merz spoke out against a reform or abolition of the debt brake and emphasized the need for the federal government to set financial priorities. He criticizes the traffic light coalition for its spending policy – Merz replied to the question of whether his opinion on the debt brake would apply for now and forever: "That still applies tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. In any case, under the current circumstances, where everyone is vaguely calling for more money, I am very cautious. This discussion is being conducted far too superficially."
He was also critical of the Greens, stressing that the party's view of reality in terms of financial feasibility was inadequate. On the topics of citizens' money and labour market integration, Merz spoke out in favour of a differentiated approach. He argued for a distinction between contribution-financed wage replacement benefits and tax-financed social benefits.
The CDU federal chairman Friedrich Merz. © Melissa Erichsen/dpa
CDU: Can the party stop the shift to the right? "Must happen with the right issues"
The steadily growing international shift to the right, especially the recent elections in the Netherlands, was also a topic of discussion. Asked whether the CDU should not succeed in preventing people from shifting to the right, the opposition leader replied: "That is our claim. But this has to happen with the right topics and the right people. I have been closely watching what happened in the Netherlands. And that's exactly what we're not going to do. We do not want to make asylum and immigration the main issue of the election campaigns, even though there can be no doubt about our substantive positions on this. And we rule out any cooperation with the AfD."
To the hypothetical question of what gift he would give the chancellor while Secret Santa, Merz explained: "Coaching lessons."
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Merz criticizes the Greens: "We must remain compatible with reality"
Regarding the question of what he could offer the Greens in the future, he replied: "It is not we who have to become compatible with the Greens, the Greens must remain compatible with reality." The CDU man also said: "The Greens lack a realistic assessment of what we can afford financially in our country and an idea of the direction in which we are going in terms of regulatory policy."
A few weeks ago, Merz harshly criticized the Greens and their work in the traffic light coalition. (Maximilian Kurz)