Laschet apologizes for laughing at flood visit | free press

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The Federal President is affected by the flood disaster – and in the background the NRW Prime Minister is laughing. An image that Laschet has received a lot of criticism for. The Ethics Council speaks of ‘irreverence’.

Erftstadt (dpa) – Chancellor-candidate Armin Laschet has apologized for the impression his laughter had created during a speech by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the flood plain.

He regretted the impression a conversation gave. “This was inappropriate and I am sorry,” the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening. “The fate of those affected is close to our hearts and we have heard about it in many conversations.”

Laschet is in the background on television footage and photos taken by photographers during a speech by the Federal President in Erftstadt. In one series, the CDU politician and his companions are joking. You can see how he smiles and turns to his interlocutors.

The photos sparked clear criticism. “How Armin Laschet hangs out in the background while the Federal President addresses the victims is indecent and outrageous,” said SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil of “Bild am Sonntag”. “In times of crisis, it is said that character shows itself. Anyone who sneers without feeling in such difficult situations disqualifies himself.”

German Ethics Council criticizes “irreverence”

Meanwhile, the hashtag #Laschetlacht was trending on Twitter. The pianist Igor Levit spoke of ‘unworthy behaviour’. The former chairman of the German Ethics Council, Peter Dabrock, criticized “irreverence” towards the victims. The FDP also went to court with Laschet: “Rhine cheerful nature in honor, but while the Federal President thinks about the victims who wander around without a mask, the seriousness of the situation does not do justice,” said deputy group leader Michael Theurer of Bild am suntag”.

Steinmeier and Laschet had spoken to helpers and firefighters in Erftstadt, where numerous houses and cars had been washed away in recent days. In a short speech after the meeting, the Federal President expressed his condolences to the victims of the flood disaster, saying: “Your fate is heartbreaking.” It was pointed out in the network that Steinmeier also laughed during a speech.