Nuremberg (AP) – The dispute between Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) and his deputy Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters) over corona vaccinations is increasing.
Söder renewed his criticism of Aiwanger’s vaccination argument in the ZDF summer interview on Sunday – who responded sharply, accusing the CSU chairman of a deliberately false claim and speaking of “impertinence”.
Söder said of Aiwanger’s demonstrative doubts about corona vaccinations: “My concern is that he will maneuver into a corner that he can no longer get out of.” He is “a little” concerned about Aiwanger, who is also the Minister of Economy in Söder’s cabinet.
Söder emphasized that it was not a question of whether or not Aiwanger wanted to be vaccinated, everyone was free to do so. But the sound and speech behind it are problematic: when Aiwanger talks about side effects that “stay away from him”, or when he says, for example, that the vaccines are not proven to be effective. “You have to be careful,” Söder said.
“Intentional False Claim”
Aiwanger said of the German news agency: “It is an intentionally false claim that I said it was not proven whether vaccines work. On the contrary, I said that vaccination is an important part in the fight against Corona, but that it should remain voluntary.”
In addition, Söder said Aiwanger used the same word choice as AfD top candidate Alice Weidel. He warned Aiwanger, who is also the Free Voters’ lead candidate for the September 26 federal election, “somehow” to fish for votes. “That’s a total misconception. Ultimately, people choose the right ‘silk thinkers’.” But if Aiwanger gets close, he must be careful not to be identified as such. “And then it gets really hard.”
Aiwanger said: “It’s outrageous to want to label me a ‘lateral thinker’ because I am against mandatory vaccination and demand more sensitivity when it comes to vaccinating under 12-year-olds, which Stiko has not yet recommended.”
However, Söder pointed out that Aiwanger had so far supported every decision on the anti-corona measures in the Bavarian cabinet. He therefore sees no reason to dismiss Aiwanger from the cabinet. He also felt that the Free Voters themselves were “very unhappy with what he said”. He now wants to give the party time to think about the situation to some extent. The reaction of the economy, which is clearly against Aiwanger, is also remarkable.