Wednesday November 24th 2021
Merz near Lanz
“This country has to be consistent now”
By Marko Schlichting
While the incidences are reaching new highs every day and more and more intensive care units are reaching their capacity limits, calls for a general vaccination requirement are getting louder. Friedrich Merz thinks this is the wrong way to go. At Markus Lanz, he presents other suggestions that are also very far-reaching.
The discussion on overcoming the corona pandemic has gained new momentum. More and more politicians are now speaking out in favor of a general compulsory vaccination. The applicant for the CDU chairmanship, Friedrich Merz, does not really agree. On Tuesday evening, he said on the ZDF talk show with Markus Lanz that mandatory vaccination was reaching its limits. “We have never done anything like this before.”
In fact, compulsory vaccination would not solve the current problems. However, it could help prevent a fifth or sixth corona wave if it were constitutionally compatible and could be controlled. Merz currently has something else in mind. He demands: “Consistently 2G: At the workplace, in all buildings, in the Bundestag, on the soccer field.” Merz literally: “This country must now finally be consistent.”
He is particularly angry about the current situation among professional footballers. “What football players can afford is unacceptable,” said the CDU politician. They have a role model function, says Merz. Basically, he can see that people do not want to be vaccinated. “But then you no longer take part in public life.” Merz criticizes that we are in a situation “where this country is being held hostage by anti-vaccination opponents and corona deniers.”
But Merz also knows that a general 2G rule is unlikely to be implementable. There could be problems with this, especially in the workplace. Specifically, Merz is addressed in the program about how he wants to deal with officials who are not vaccinated, for example. Merz does not have an answer to this.
“Union can be restructured”
On January 21, Merz wants to be elected CDU party leader, now for the third time. And he is sure: he has a good chance because the CDU base is now being asked. “I’ve always had a lot of approval from the members – and maybe even the majority,” he says. He sees his main task in renewing the CDU. “The Union can be restructured,” Merz is certain.
He also wants to act as a team player. To do this, he has brought in Christina Stumpp from Baden-Württemberg and Mario Czaja from Berlin, who is to become the new CDU General Secretary. He had said at NTV that Merz had made the best integration offer for the CDU.
Unfortunately, there are still too few women in the party, Merz notes. That is why he chose Christina Stumpp as deputy general secretary. She wanted the vice-post because her daughter was just 15 months old. But Czaja also asked to be able to be with his wife and daughter at least from time to time. Merz says he wants to take care of the families more anyway.
And CSU boss Markus Söder? “We will work well together,” says Merz. The two politicians talked to each other on the phone more often. And Söder had to win state elections in Bavaria in two years, so he was dependent on a well-positioned CDU.
Merz is confident of victory. He dares to bring the “restructuring case” CDU back into shape. But does he want to become the Union’s candidate for chancellor in four years? He prefers to be modest. Because then Merz will be 71, three years older than the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel today.