Eager to replace Angela Merkel as Germany’s head of government, they discussed ways to combat the pandemic and climate change, as well as taxes and the Afghan issue. The biggest controversy was caused by the methods of dealing with the climate crisis and the tax issue, according to Der Spiegel’s estimates.
On the issue of the coronavirus pandemic, the candidates agreed that no further lockdown was needed. They also agreed that there should be no compulsory vaccinations for some professional groups and spoke in favor of further accelerating the vaccination campaign.
On the issue of Afghanistan, Barbock, Lachette and Schulz unanimously called for a strengthening of Germany’s role in security policy. Laschet stated that he was in favor of better equipping the German army and creating a Security Council linked to the chancellor’s office. Barbock accused the government of negatively dealing with Afghanistan and of prioritizing “domestic political considerations over responsibility for foreign policy.” Schulz, whose party colleague Heiko Maas is currently in the Foreign Ministry, called for the strengthening of international cooperation and the participation of German army soldiers in future peace and security missions.
The views of those participating in the discussion were divided on the issue of addressing climate change. Everyone agreed that this is an important issue. More detailed solutions have been suggested by Baerbock, incl. End the use of internal combustion engines by 2030 and switch to zero-emissions vehicles. Laschet accused the Greens of imposing too strict climate regulations, and Barbock responded that “the CDU has no plan, it just blows up the proposals of the other parties.”
Significant differences emerged between the candidates on the subject of fiscal policy. Schulz declared a “better balance” of the tax system, saying that “people in his income bracket should pay a little more.” Barbock also felt that “strong arms should carry more”. Laschet described ideas about raising taxes as “completely unwise.”
During the debate, “CDU/CSU candidate Armin Laschet was under great pressure. Annalina Barbock was the most hawkish, and Olaf Schultz was surprisingly cautious” – summed up the debate on the NDA website. Two more discussions are scheduled for September.
According to the Institute of 36% chance. Voters saw that the SPD candidate, Schulz, had the better of the debate. Barbuk (30%) and Lachit (25%) occupied other places.
Parliamentary elections will be held in Germany in four weeks.
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