When Prime Minister Söder announced his decision about Aiwanger’s stay in office, he was already bathing in the crowd in the beer tent. The message is clear: flyers were yesterday, now is the election campaign.
Hubert Aiwanger’s lap of honor begins on Sunday just a few minutes before Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) gives a press conference in Munich on the future of his deputy.
The Free Voters boss climbs onto a beer bench at the entrance to the beer tent in Grasbrunn (Munich district), greets the crowd, enjoys the applause, and shakes hands. The way to the front of the stage is not the shortest, but leads several times from one side to the other – past as many visitors as possible. Individual “Hubsi, Hubsi” calls ring out. Aiwanger smiles.
Does he already know that Söder will keep him as deputy and economics minister for the time being – despite all the allegations about an anti-Semitic leaflet that was found in Aiwanger’s school bag when he was at school and recently shook the coalition? He only heard about the decision from journalists, says Aiwanger after his performance.
If he was unsure about this at the beginning of his performance, he doesn’t let it show. In CSU circles, however, it was pointed out that Aiwanger had already found out on Saturday evening that he could remain in office.
On the contrary: “It was a dirty mess,” calls Aiwanger into the microphone on stage. “The Free Voters should be weakened.” But the party was “reinforced” by the allegations, he says, while Markus Söder is still making his statement. “We have a clear conscience.” His opponents have failed with their “dirty campaign”. Applause.
A classic Aiwanger campaign speech
For a good half hour, the 52-year-old from Lower Bavaria, in a white shirt with his sleeves rolled up, takes aim at his favorite opponents: the traffic light government in Berlin and especially the Greens. A classic Aiwanger election campaign speech with well-known messages: abolish inheritance tax, overturn the heating law, help the working population instead of recipients of citizen income. And above all, “stick to what has proven itself”.
From Aiwanger’s point of view, this means for Bavaria: CSU and Free Voters should also govern after the state elections. After all, his party is the “guarantor that the Greens will not get into the Bavarian state government”. At about the same time, CSU boss Söder emphasized about 20 minutes by car in the state chancellery: “There will definitely be no black and green in Bavaria.”
After everything that has happened in the past few days, will Aiwanger comply with Prime Minister Söder’s request to seek talks with representatives of Jewish communities? “I have to check that now in order to at least prepare the talks here in the next few days,” he says.
A journalist asks what he will do now in view of the events surrounding the leaflet, for which he had apologized. Repent? “Drive to the next appointment, drive to the next appointment,” says Aiwanger.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.