CDU leader Friedrich Merz is trying to differentiate his party from the far right. He sees the traffic light parties as being primarily responsible for the AfD’s current success.
The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz blames the traffic light coalition’s policies for the AfD’s growing support. At the CDU Bitburg-Prüm’s New Year’s reception, Merz also warned against voting for the AfD: “Every vote for this party is a vote against sensible politics.”
The AfD emerged when the CDU was in power. “That was primarily directed against us,” said Merz in Bitburg. In the last federal election, support for the AfD was 10 percent.
“Now they are at 20 percent. So there are many laws of logic that suggest that this is not mainly our fault, but that it also and above all has to do with government policy.”
Allegations against the traffic lights
Merz accused the traffic light government of having lost contact with the citizens: “Stop for a moment and listen carefully to the discussions that are currently being held among the population,” he said. After the demonstrations against the federal government in Berlin, among other places, the coalition is “carrying on as if nothing had happened.”
“If the Social Democrats, at 13 percent in the polls, have not yet understood that it is perhaps their fault and not the population’s fault that something is wrong at the moment, then the question arises as to what actually needs to happen.”
The CDU chairman said the party was getting back on track with a new program. “Even those who are conservative are at home with us,” he emphasized. However, the CDU will “delineate itself very sharply from those who are on the far right and who are not concerned about Germany.” He added: “This stupid talk of ‘Germany for the Germans’ is all stupid talk that comes from these people. Following them makes our country a narrow-minded, a small-minded, a xenophobic, an illiberal country.”
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