TV column “maybrit illner”: Merz dissects Lambrecht on TV – her traffic light colleague only says: “Absolutely legitimate”
Not only is there fighting in Ukraine, there is murder. That revealed this week. If the resistance against Putin is about the economy, the FDP and CDU are in agreement. Violent attacks form in “maybrit illner” against Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht.
It’s the day the Bundestag had Corona. In parliament, the FDP and CDU coughed and barked violently at each other. A vaccination requirement has failed, for many against their better knowledge. With “maybrit illner” in the evening, the aggressions remain under cover. When discussing Putin’s war of aggression, which sees his tanks digging up the soil in Ukraine and his soldiers killing in the cities, FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr and CDU party leader Friedrich Merz avoid the minefields of the day. “Values, weapons, economic power” is the topic – and the governing party is practicing solidarity with the opposition party.
Military expert at Illner: “Rape is part of Russian military strategy”
At the start of her talk on Thursday, the moderator interviewed Kateryna Mishcenko. The publisher and author fled Ukraine to Germany with her son just two weeks ago. “Everywhere is dangerous,” reports the author in good German. And she adds: “We’re going to experience even worse things.”
Military expert Carlo Masala is also convinced of this: “Systematic rapes and the execution of civilians are part of Russian military strategy,” says the professor at the Bundeswehr University, “that’s no coincidence, that’s systematic.” And they confirm the horror other panellists that evening. “We haven’t seen these pictures for the first time,” admits Friedrich Merz, “why did we look away?” FDP politician Christian Dürr says: “We were naive.” And entrepreneur Stefan Wolf, president of the Gesamtmetall employers’ association, also denies it it doesn’t: “The images we see are horrible.”
Discussion at “maybrit illner”: Do we harm ourselves more than Putin?
But in the very next sentence, the employer representative is not defending Ukraine, but the interests of German business. “We have responsibility for an incredible number of people in Germany,” is one of the sentences. Or: “We need a strong Germany and a strong economy.” Or the warning: “If we send masses of people into unemployment, we haven’t been able to do anything.”
A coalition against the gas ban quickly forms in the discussion round. “We don’t have to resort to the harshest means against ourselves,” says Friedrich Merz, for example. And the man from the FDP nods. Germany’s geopolitical strength is its economic strength. Dürr: “It doesn’t help if we harm ourselves more than we harm Putin.” And CDU chairman Merz is concerned about social cohesion in the event that Germany stops importing gas. “If the stop comes from Putin, it might be more of a bond.” And this time it’s FDP man Dürr who agrees: “Mr. Merz is right.” And while Dürr is talking about the consequences of a gas waiver, Merz nods again. Unity is the order of the day between the governing party and the opposition party.
At most, Georg Masala contributes extra-parliamentary opposition. “A gas stop does not prevent war crimes,” he says. And yet the military expert is surprised that so much is being said about gas imports or gas bans – and so little about possible intermediate stages. Friedrich Merz is committed: “We do everything that we can be responsible for.” And again the opposition man sees himself shoulder to shoulder with the governing party FDP.
Merz wedges against Minister of Defense – FDP man does not contradict him
Christian Dürr does not even want to oppose the CDU competitor when Merz specifically attacks a member of the government. Moderator Maybrit Illner directs the conversation to Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. “She’s completely overwhelmed,” says Friedrich Merz. “She has been completely unsuitable from day one. It is purely an emergency solution, and you notice that every day.”
The defense minister described Germany as the second-biggest supplier of arms, reminded the CDU chairman – “hold on tight: by weight of the arms”. And how does FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr defend the minister of his government? “The role of the opposition politician is to hit the table from time to time,” he throws down with cotton balls, “that’s absolutely legitimate.”
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Remarkable in this talk is Kateryna Mishchenko, the author, the publisher, the mother, the Ukrainian, the refugee. At a time when so many are showing how difficult it is to think under the steel helmet, she remains surprisingly differentiated. “Ukrainians are not heroes. These are just people who want to live,” she says. But she also recognizes: “We are all in a bad situation. The Russians too.”
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