Clear words from Walter-Borjans: “Lead or nothing” | free press

It’s market day in Chemnitz. People stop in front of the Kaufhof. The SPD has sent party leader Norbert Walter-Borjans to Saxony, and the 68-year-old is listening carefully: Low pensions, Hartz IV and the SPD’s weakness are the problems that move Chemnitz.

It’s market day in Chemnitz. People stop in front of the Kaufhof. The SPD has sent party leader Norbert Walter-Borjans to Saxony, and the 68-year-old is listening carefully: Low pensions, Hartz IV and the SPD’s weakness are the problems that move Chemnitz.

Although the SPD has been at 15 percent in polls for months, Norbert Walter-Borjans is confident the race to overtake top CDU candidate Armin Laschet will succeed. “Olaf Scholz and we have started the race to catch up and will convince people that the SPD is the right party for this time,” says Walter-Borjans, immediately stating the reason: without the Social Democrats in the federal government, it would not have the minimum wage, the basic pension, or the short-time working benefit granted during the corona pandemic. It is important to highlight the successes of the SPD even more, said the former finance minister of North Rhine-Westphalia.

A retiree from Seiffen in the Ore Mountains goes straight to the SPD politician and asks why “Olaf Scholz fails to improve the party’s values?” Walter-Borjans listens patiently and answers in detail: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s principle is to record the success of the SPD in the grand coalition for the Union. But the CDU without Merkel is different. Olaf Scholz and the entire SPD will make this clear in the election campaign and emphasize the advantages of the SPD as “the only reliable force”.

One of the things that an SPD government would change is overcoming Hartz IV. The reform of the social system and the labor market was carried out with the best intentions in the early 2000s under the then SPD chancellor Gerhard Schröder, but the effect had been devastating in large parts. “We recognize that and will change it,” says Walter-Borjans. At the end of 2019, the SPD adopted a resolution of the party congress.

A modern welfare state is indispensable in the 21st century. This was especially evident during the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, Germany is facing a major transformation. The federal government recently decided that the country must be carbon neutral by 2045. This means restructuring the industry, energy, buildings, transport, agriculture, forests and heath sectors. “In East Germany, people have not yet processed the last revolution thirty years ago, then comes the next uncertainty,” says the SPD leader. The SPD stands for certainty in transition. But this certainty can only be achieved through change. The claim that change can be stopped is absolutely false. It must be ensured that the opportunities of change are made visible. “The reason is that we are developing processes to live climate neutrally worldwide. That creates hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs,” says Walter-Borjans. “Our goal is to make this conversion socially acceptable.” This is exactly where the CDU’s political opponent should be caught. “Armin Laschet is not particularly interested in the situation of ordinary people, any more than he is for Friedrich Merz,” warns Walter-Borjans.

The election campaign is therefore both about tackling the unreliability of Armin Laschet and about the increasing blockade of a socially cold CDU. “There is only social policy with Olaf Scholz and the SPD in the chancellery,” says Walter-Borjans. Four more years as a junior partner are therefore not an option for him. That applies to the CDU and CSU, but also to the Greens. “Either lead or nothing!”, Walter-Borjans concludes. The graduated economist and tax expert says confidently that he sees his party at more than 20 percent on the evening of September 26, 2021. An ambitious goal.

Detlef Müller, SPD bundestag candidate for Chemnitz, who helped organize the meeting with the party leader, is also ready to fight. It is important to have a personal conversation with citizens and to listen carefully. Then there will be a good result for the SPD challenger Olaf Scholz, the trained railway worker is sure.

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