EbeneInfo – GB – The Brief – About German vaccines and dark horses

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13-01-2021

Germany’s Christian Democrats will choose their new leader from the three candidates fighting for the top spot this weekend, but the winner may not necessarily become the party’s candidate to run for chancellorship in this year’s general election

Surveys among CDU members show that the outsider Norbert Röttgen is head to head with the moderate Armin Laschet, both just behind the arch-conservative Friedrich Merz, but this could soon become almost irrelevant

As Spiegel reported before the party congress, a certain dark horse has caused unrest in the ranks of the CDU

Health Minister Jens Spahn apparently had the prospect of becoming a candidate for Chancellor at the end of December even without chairing the CDU. The German tabloid Bild

reported on these rumors

But most of the political observers in Berlin do not believe in his half-hearted rejection, especially since, according to the sources of the German government, none of the three candidates really convince the party base

Laschet is considered too vague and dry and the foreign policy expert Röttgen as too intellectual Merz says he stands for an ecological renewal of the German market economy, but many fear that the only thing that could inspire him is the shrinking archconservative section of the electorate is

In short, the party seems to be lacking inspiration and good candidates, and this is sure to cause problems in motivating the party base in the election campaign

Given Spahn’s current popularity behind the scenes at the party and his preeminent role in tackling the COVID-19 crisis, he could rightly have greater ambitions

Whether it will still be so popular in two months’ time depends on the progression of the pandemic, in which increasingly frequent errors are already affecting its image at home

Germans who pride themselves on their national reputation for efficiency are increasingly frustrated with the slow adoption of a COVID-19 vaccine

And the government had to reject allegations that the rollout is progressing slowly because Berlin participated in the EU purchasing system instead of negotiating individually (which it turned out to have done)

« The European way is in the national interest of Germany and in the interest of our citizens, » said Spahn on Wednesday (13 January) to the legislature

« It is a question of economic common sense that we do not vaccinate individual countries but the whole of Europe. This is the only way we can recover economically, » he added to ward off criticism

At the same time, there is a growing feeling in Europe that Germany – which has always emphasized the importance of Europe-wide vaccine procurement based on solidarity – is becoming increasingly selfish in its attempts to procure more vaccines

When asked in December whether bilateral negotiations do not violate the spirit of the solidarity approach, Spahn said the talks with BioNTech and CureVac only started after it had been determined that the companies could meet the stated demand of all EU member states

But the controversy over the federal government’s individual purchase of vaccines has put Spahn and the Ministry of Health in the spotlight in Brussels, where the Commission has so far refused to acknowledge that this contradicts the bloc’s joint procurement agreement

Domestically, this could work in Spahn’s favor once the campaign gains momentum, as well as the fact that he has promised that any German who wants to be vaccinated should be able to get the sting that he will measured by the average German voter

From a European point of view, however, the underlying question is what a candidate for chancellor like Spahn will mean for Europe

Tectonic changes are taking place in the political landscape of Greece The socialists are turning left and appear to be ending attempts to cooperate with the center-right party

The Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas resigned after an investigation into a property development project in the capital, in which he could be accused of corruption

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) is organizing a virtual agricultural congress to discuss sustainable agriculture and the relationship between food production, the environment and the climate. However, the focus is on a social contract

Major airlines, including Easyjet, KLM and Air France, have partnered with environmental NGOs to demand stricter guidelines on biofuels and reduce the environmental impact of the aviation sector

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Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, Germany

EbeneInfo – GB – The Brief – About German vaccines and dark horses

Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/elections/opinion/the-brief-of-german-vaccines-and-dark-horses/

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