Bochum / Olpe / Gießen (dpa) – Six weeks before the federal elections, the Union and the SPD have noticeably sharpened the tone in the battle for the chancellery.
Your chancellor candidates Armin Laschet and Olaf Scholz accused each other this weekend of endangering Germany’s future with their plans for a future economic and fiscal policy.
Both called on their own supporters to give everything until the elections on September 26. Former Union leader in the Bundestag, Friedrich Merz, urged the CDU and CSU to really fight now: “It didn’t work out.”
The SPD started the hot phase of the election campaign in Bochum. The Union wants to follow next Saturday in Berlin. Scholz said in the city of the Ruhr area: “A departure to our country is possible. We can have a government that will tackle the challenges of the future.” SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil said, in view of the steadily improving polls for his party: “We are getting better, but we are still a long way from where we want to be. .”
SPD moves past the Greens
The SPD is fighting its way up in the polls. In a new Insa poll for “Bild am Sonntag”, at 20 percent (plus 2), she again passed the Greens for the first time in many months, which remained at 18 percent. Together with the FDP, which comes in at 12 percent, it would be enough for a traffic light coalition. The CDU/CSU comes in at 25 percent (minus 1). The AfD remains at 11 percent, the left at 7 percent. In last Friday’s ZDF “Politbarometer”, the SPD and the Greens were on par at 19 percent.
Above all, Scholz’s popularity figures have risen sharply. In the “Politbarometer”, 44 percent said they would rather see him as chancellor (plus 10). Only 21 percent (minus 8) was for Laschet and 16 percent (minus 4) for the Green top candidate Annalena Baerbock. According to Insa, Scholz could expect 29 percent if the chancellor could be directly elected (plus 2), Laschet with 15 (plus 1) and Baerbock with 13 percent (unchanged).
The FDP chairman Christian Lindner expressed his skepticism about the liberals’ entry into a traffic light coalition: “I have no idea what offer we could make,” he told the editorial network Germany. Lindner wanted to kick off the hot election campaign phase with the Liberals in Berlin on Sunday afternoon.
Greens start voting campaign by mail
The Greens wanted to start a voting campaign by mail there that evening. “This year’s vote by mail will be much more decisive than in previous elections,” said Federal Political Director Michael Kellner. The voting documents can be sent by post from next Monday.
The issue of burdens or relief for citizens and businesses is increasingly becoming a central theme in the election campaign. Scholz categorically rejected tax breaks for high earners. He recalled that the state is currently making a huge financial outlay – 400 billion euros by the end of next year – to counter the Corona crisis. It was “something very, very strange” if some in this situation felt: “People who earn as much as me or a lot more really need some tax relief,” the federal treasury secretary said. “Not only is it unfunded, it lacks solidarity and is immoral.”
Laschet attacks political competitors
Laschet, for his part, stated during an election campaign in Olpe, North Rhine-Westphalia, that all political competitors on the left of the Union are demanding tax increases. “Whoever does this harms the prosperity of the Federal Republic of Germany.” That is a huge danger. Speaking in Giessen, he said tax increases are “a burden on small and medium income earners, a burden on families and we are not getting the economic dynamism we need now after the pandemic.”
The CDU/CSU candidate for chancellor also accused the SPD of wanting to give up the black zero, or a household with no new debt. “I would like a clear answer from Olaf Scholz: Does he want to suspend the debt brake?”, he said in Olpe.
Merz, who was defeated by Laschet in the battle for party leadership, emphasized that campaigning means fighting first. “Maybe we underestimated that a bit in recent years. We shouldn’t underestimate it this year,” he warned.