There is talk of ‘collective failure’: given the dramatic situation in Afghanistan, the opposition does not shy away from harsh criticism of the German government.

Berlin (dpa) – The opposition is making serious allegations against the federal government over the dramatic situation in Afghanistan. “We are dealing with a collective failure,” said Greens foreign politician Jürgen Trittin.

“Mrs Merkel did what she does best: nothing,” Trittin said before a special meeting of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee in Berlin. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had given refugee protection more weight than people’s lives. “And Heiko Maas provided the reports for it, condoned reports on the situation in Afghanistan.”

When you look at the reports from the embassy in Kabul, you realize it wasn’t that you didn’t know anything, Trittin said. “The only ones who, of course, didn’t know anything, as usual, was the Federal Intelligence Service. But that doesn’t really surprise anyone anymore.” Trittin said you should now start talking to the new government in Kabul, “especially if you still want leeway to move people out of there or provide concrete humanitarian aid and the like if necessary.”

Foreign FDP politician Bijan Djir-Sarai described the federal government’s role as “catastrophic”. His party has long called for an exit strategy for Afghanistan. “There was plenty of time to prepare for this day. The federal government has not done that.” Minister Maas must take political responsibility for this. “These mistakes could have been prevented,” emphasized Djir-Sarai.

The FDP politician warned against giving in to illusions: “The evacuations are currently possible because the Taliban allow it. If the Taliban set other parameters in the coming days, this question will be solved.” The Bundeswehr’s mission in Afghanistan cannot be expanded. “We will not be able to change anything against the will of the new rulers in Kabul.”

Green foreign policy leader Omid Nouripour said it was not about the resignation of the foreign minister. “Heiko Maas is in charge. But here we have a complete failure of the federal government.” None of them had addressed the problem. “You just looked the other way.” This will have to be discussed after the evacuation: “Now we have to save people’s lives.”