“We only have a handful of days to evacuate people from Kabul”

Six weeks before the legislative elections on September 26, the German Greens’ candidate for chancellery, Annalena Baerbock, gave an interview to the World, to Financial Times (London) and at Standard (Vienna). In the voting intentions, the ecologists are credited with 17% -21% of the vote, behind the conservatives of the CDU-CSU (22% -27%) and neck and neck with the social democrats of the SPD (16 % -20%), which gives them hope of participating in the next government, after sixteen years in opposition. The exchange took place on the Greens’ campaign bus between Hamburg and Berlin.

The situation in Afghanistan is worsening day by day, Europe fears a new migratory crisis. Should Germany welcome more refugees?

What is happening in Afghanistan is dramatic and totally unpredictable. The priority is to save the lives, those of diplomatic personnel and those who, on the spot, risked everything by working for us, including within the missions of the European Union. Representatives of NGOs, the international media, as well as defenders of women’s and men’s rights are in great danger. Protecting them is an absolute duty.

During the 2015 refugee crisis, there was no international coordination. Why would what failed yesterday succeed today?

We only have a handful of days to evacuate people from Kabul. So we have to go very quickly. There is not a minute to waste in little tactical games. Those for whom inaction is not an option must join forces. Canada is ready for it, and so is the United States. Germany can decide itself to take in a contingent of people who are in particular need of protection. Hopefully other states will follow suit. If the European Union (EU) quickly agrees on a common distribution, this will naturally be preferable.

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Since your appointment as a candidate for the chancellery in April, you have had to justify yourself, on your CV, on unreported additional income and on accusations of plagiarism targeting your program book. How do you live this campaign? Have you thought about throwing in the towel?

There were days with and days without. I have known from the start that you have to expect headwinds when you run for an election with the idea of ​​making a difference and ending the status quo. But, if we do not have this courage, it is collectively that we will win out vis-à-vis the rest of the world, as a great industrial country. As for giving up, as you know I have some experience in sports [comme triple médaillée de bronze aux championnats d’Allemagne de trampoline]. If you are ready to give up on the warm-up lap, there is no point in participating in a competition. An election campaign is a marathon. It’s only at the end that you know who won.

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