Two weeks before the federal election, the Chancellor candidates from the Union, SPD and Greens met on Sunday evening for their second TV confrontation. First surveys see Olaf Scholz as the winner.

10 p.m., September 12, 2021

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The three candidates for chancellor, Scholz, Baerbock, Laschet (r.) © (c) AP (Michael Kappeler)

Two weeks before the federal election, the Chancellor candidates from the Union, SPD and Greens met on Sunday evening for their second TV confrontation. Armin Laschet, Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock delivered a sometimes sharp exchange of blows. In view of the investigation against the money laundering central office of the customs, Laschet and Baerbock tried to put the favorite Scholz under pressure.

The money laundering agency Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) belongs to the business area of ​​Finance Minister Scholz. Even with a view to the Wirecard scandal, the latter had to defend itself. In view of his good poll numbers, he tried to get chancellor format in the discussion.

Dispute over responsibility

Scholz emphasized on Sunday evening in the TV triumph on ARD and ZDF that the raid was not about allegations against the ministry. Laschet called it “a miracle” that Scholz could “display such fine talk”. Scholz refused to take responsibility even though his division was affected. “The result of what they do is that the supervisor has failed,” said Laschet. “You give the impression that you have nothing to do with it.”

Scholz then accused his competitor of a distorted presentation. Here “things are deliberately twisted. Mr. Laschet, you have to be reproached for that.” The CDU boss is trying to make it look as if the public prosecutor’s office is investigating a matter that is taking place in the ministry. When Laschet asked whether there had been a search in the ministry, Scholz said: “Your question shows how dishonest you are.”

There was also a controversy between Scholz and Laschet on the subject of climate protection. They accused each other of blocking each other. Scholz emphasized that the Union had long denied that more electricity was necessary for the climate-friendly restructuring of the economy. Laschet, in turn, accused the SPD of preventing accelerations in planning and approval procedures. Baerbock pointed out that with the current pace of the grand coalition, the climate targets would be missed. She called for the coal phase-out planned for 2038 to be brought forward to 2030.

Who coalesces with whom

The start of the Triell was marked by coalition statements. The CDU chairman Laschet did not generally rule out a junior role for the Union in an SPD-led federal government. “Democrats have to talk to each other after the election,” he said at the second so-called TV triad of the chancellor candidates, which this time was held on ARD and ZDF. At the same time he emphasized: “We are fighting for first place.” Laschet avoided the question altogether. One is currently not in the formation of a government, but “in promoting the right way for our country”.

SPD chancellor candidate Scholz did not once again make a definitive decision whether he would rule out a coalition with the left. But he emphasized: “Anyone who wants to govern in Germany must have clear positions, they must commit to transatlantic cooperation, they must clearly state that NATO is indispensable for our security and that we must fulfill our obligations in the alliance. He must make a clear commitment to a strong, sovereign European Union. “

Waiting for a vote

Laschet then accused Scholz of forming a coalition including the left even if the SPD were only to become the second strongest force in the federal election on September 26th. Laschet described it as “dishonest” that Scholz referred to the vote that had to be awaited in this regard. The stronger the SPD becomes, the more opportunities he will have, said Scholz, who explicitly presented the election as a decision about the future German chancellor. According to surveys, the Vice Chancellor is clearly ahead of Laschet and Baerbock in the chancellor question.

Baerbock did not want to give up at the start of the Chancellor’s race. You are “fighting for a government led by the Greens,” she said. She wanted a real departure. The Greens have dropped to third place in the polls in recent weeks, after having been well ahead of the SPD in second place at the beginning of the year. Corresponding survey results had led to the fact that the three television confrontations of the chancellor candidates were held for the first time in the form of a triall. In previous elections, only the candidates from the Union and the SPD had argued with each other.

In a first survey, Olaf Scholz was perceived as the winner with 39 percent, while Baerbock (25) and Laschet (24) were tied, beaten.

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