By: V4 Agency
The German CDU party will soon elect a new leader. The question which of the three candidates will take over party presidency from Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, minister of defense in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, will be decided in January. It is very probable that the new president will also succeed Merkel in the chancellor’s seat. One of the candidates, Friedrich Merz has voiced quite a firm opinion when speaking about migrants recently. Should he become chancellor – of which he has a good chance – it will bring substantial change in the lives of potential immigrants to Germany.
The next CDU congress will take place in mid-January, where delegates will elect the new party president. There are three candidates to the post, namely Frierich Merz, Armin Laschet and Norbert Rottgen. Merz, who is thought to have the greatest chance, is a long-time favourite of the anti-Merkel right wing of the Christian Democrats.
Since Germany’s struggle with the migration crisis and its consequences began, CDU has lost quite a few elections. As a result, the steadly high popularity of Chancellor Merkel, described by many as pro-migrant politician, started to decline around 2018.
At that time, Friedrich Merz, a critic of the government’s migration policy, almost took over Merkel’s post as party president, but the seat was eventually gained by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Now, however, with her stepping down, Mr Merz is back in the game.
The crucial issue of migration also came up in a televised debate of the candidates on Monday.
In the conversation, Friedrich Merz stated that Germany would have significantly fewer people claiming unemployment benefits if it hadn’t been for mass immigration in 2015. He added that without the approximately one million migrants currently on aid, more money could be earmarked to help the poorest Germans suffering the most from the economic effects of the pandemic.
Analysts say that Friedrich Merz, considered a hard-line conservative of the CDU, has a good chance of becoming party leader and then chancellor nominee….
Nicknamed the “German Trump,” the hard-line conservative Merz has been famous for his strict stance on immigration. In 2018, at one of the CDU conferences in Thuringia, for example, he directly called for the abolition of the right to asylum, which earned him the label of national socialist by some.
The issue of intervening in the current immigration policy (#Merkelland) is becoming ever more popular in the country as the coronavirus crisis deepens. According to some calculations, the German government spent approximately 150 billion euros on migrants between 2016 and 2020, which would more than cover the social security and medical costs of the epidemic domestically, with money to spare for economic support and pension increases as well.
The alliance of the CDU and the Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), is currently the largest political force in Germany, with voter support of around 35 percent, well above that of the second-placed Greens.