“At a table with …” at RTL: Baerbock is with himself among people

The Green Chancellor candidate has not appeared so self-confident in the past few weeks and is often afraid of making the next mistake. In conversation with normal citizens at RTL, however, Annalena Baerbock’s strength that has not been lost becomes apparent.

That Annalena Baerbock will be the next Federal Chancellor is not very likely for the Greens, who are third in the current RTL / ntv trend barometer. But the party leader may not feel so uncomfortable in the role of the slayer by now. In the RTL program “At a table with …” in the evening (from 10:35 pm) at least one loose Baerbock can be seen, who repeatedly asserts how pleasant she finds the conversation moderated by Peter Kloeppel with six citizens.

In any case, there is no question that she does not greet as “totally important” and cheerfully say “thank you”. After the 40-year-old was often grilled by journalists in the past few weeks for her botched book, inflated résumés and negligence in reporting income to the Bundestag, Baerbock seems to be far less afraid of questions about voters. The nursing home manager Ugur Citinkaya, the farmer Agnes Greggersen, the single-parent nail nurse Tanja Hornung, the early retiree Christina Neufendt, the climate activists Leah Kaiser and the steel cooker Chris Rücker do not shy away from any criticism.

“Green steel and CO2-free: I’m totally for it”

The 57-year-old Rücker, who likes to ride a motorcycle or whip his jeep through the terrain in his free time, starts off. Not a classic Green voter, well. And yet: Rücker is also committed to the goal of climate-neutral heavy industry when he says: “Green steel and CO2-free: I am fully for it.” Rücker does not understand how the companies can manage the changeover and remain competitive in the process. Baerbock introduced him to the Greens concept of an “industrial pact”: Funding that all companies can apply for and only have to pay back if they generate stable profits.

Rücker also worries about the competition from cheap steel from China, which is subsidized by the state and not made more expensive by climate protection requirements. “That is why my very specific suggestion is that those who do not produce climate-neutral steel or subsidize their companies unfairly, as in China, will have to pay at the border in future; I call the climate tariff, but you can also say border adjustment tariff,” explains Baerbock.

It should also turn green in agriculture, only who pays the farmers for it, asks 30-year-old Greggersen, who wants to take over her parents’ conventionally managed dairy farm? “With a view to the dumping prices, we have to ensure that this can no longer take place”, Baerbock remains vague, referring to the Greens’ plan to raise an additional animal welfare cent on every dairy product, which should help if Greggersen were about theirs Wants to modernize the cowshed. “I need 10 cents more per liter of milk,” complains Greggersen. Baerbock is counting on a reform of the EU agricultural funds. Farmer Baerbock, who remains skeptical, does not ask how she intends to reopen the package, which has only just been laboriously negotiated by the 27 EU member states.

Personal history affects Baerbock

But Baerbock had once pointed out that it was rather her co-chairman Robert Habeck, who was familiar with “milking chickens, pigs, and cows”, but she was familiar with international law. And, as the mother of two daughters more and more often makes a subject of her own, with being a mother. The story of Tanja Hornung, who became an unemployed and single parent as a nail care professional, but did not work for nine months because of the pandemic, comes close to Baerbock. “What do you want to do to ensure that women who split up no longer have to be afraid of slipping into poverty?” Asks Hornung.

Baerbock asserts that she knows this problem from personal conversations and demands guaranteed daycare places, a “training agency” for people who want or need to retrain, and a real job guarantee for mothers: “A right to return to work, there is now a little, but not on full-time and not on the job that you had before. ” Children should also not slip into the Hartz IV system. The Greens are therefore calling for a “basic child security”. Baerbock manages to talk loosely for a long time, less clinging to her practiced idioms such as “necessary renewal”, as it often happens to her on TV.

The fact that the Greens promise a lot, but want to finance everything through tax increases for the wealthy, makes Neufendt, who retired early after an accident at work, skeptical. “Then there will be emigration, then the rich will emigrate,” fears the 65-year-old. “If we want to relieve people with a small, low income, we have to levy higher taxes for top earners,” says Baerbock, justifying her call for an increase in the top tax rate and the reintroduction of a wealth tax.

“Priority: coal exit”

When it comes to the topic of climate, 21-year-old Leah Kaiser accuses the Greens of timidity and asks: “What has been missing so far to implement effective climate protection?” Baerbock believes that the federal government has a specific timetable and promises: “The coal phase-out has absolute priority for me.” Those who reject this, like their competitors Armin Laschet from the Union and Olaf Scholz from the SPD, have to say how else they want to save CO2 emissions. “If we don’t get on the 1.5-degree path from Paris, then it doesn’t make sense for the Greens to go in,” Baerbock draws the red line for any coalitions after the federal elections.

“If we convert our steel industry to electricity, then I say the energy will not be enough,” warns Schmelzer Rücker. The high-earning skilled worker, like Neufendt, who lives on the poverty line, is concerned about the effects of the carbon price; he because of the car, which is indispensable for many Brandenburgers, and she because of rising rents. “Climate protection policy cannot relieve social policy,” says Baerbock and promises to work for good wages and a reliable transport infrastructure. The six questioners do not seem to be completely convinced of the responses of the friendly and friendly candidate for chancellor – but they are not disappointed either. The same should apply to Baerbock.