Reconciliation of CSU and CDU: "What Annegret says is just right"

  • In a joint press conference Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Markus Söder flatter each other in a way that has not been experienced for a long time between bosses of the CDU and CSU.
  • Also a formerly usual telephone conference of the party tips is to be revived.
  • The two party leaders outline what is important to them in the coming months. And Söder demands that the Union deal with two parties in particular.

From Robert Rossmann, Berlin

It was not so long ago, since they would have preferred at the entrance to the CDU headquarters a sign "Markus Söder, please stay outside" set up. In the dispute over refugee policy, the Franke was not wrongly considered one of the Chancellor's toughest critics. All the more amazing was the appearance that you could now experience in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus.

On Tuesday, the new CSU chief came to Berlin to pay his respects to the new CDU chairman. Markus Söder and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wanted to "talk about their agenda and the priorities of the CDU and CSU in 2019", the two parties had previously announced. For an hour, the chairmen talked. Then they came together in front of the press and flattered themselves in a way that has not been experienced for a long time between chairmen of the CDU and CSU.

"Dear Markus", with these words Kramp-Karrenbauer started the press conference – and immediately set the tone. Then she announced that the day before "historically" had managed to revive the formerly common telephone connection between the narrower leadership circles of the two parties. Since 2016, there had not been this conference call because of the dispute – which once again documents how deep the rift has been.

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Kramp-Karrenbauer said that her conversation with Söder had been very good and that soon she would go to Munich for a second four-eye conversation. She is looking forward to seeing the CSU headquarters more closely.

Söder, in turn, praised Kramp-Karrenbauer's statements over and over again ("What Annegret says is just right"). And he praised the new party leader for "that the CDU rediscovered its conservative soul" and that the party is now more federal. As you can see that the Saarlander former Prime Minister was. After the dispute in recent years, "a new phase" of cooperation between CDU and CSU is starting, Söder said. The commonality will make the Union stronger again.

And so it was no wonder that at the end of the press conference a journalist asked Söder if the CSU wanted to take Kramp-Karrenbauer to the Chancellery. That was too much even Söder. After a look at the stature of the much smaller CDU boss, he said, "so wear", he would do it. But it is not appropriate to discuss it now.

There is a CDU chairwoman who does her work very strongly and with great acceptance. And it is the natural right of the heads of the CDU and CSU to propose a chancellor candidate or a chancellor candidate, but "when the time is right". This date is not there yet. Kramp-Karrenbauer is doing a "very good job", but please give her and him the chance to "grow a bit more and grow". Some seedlings that are being set up in the two parties would not grow faster, "if you pull it now".

Söder: Greens are "no saints"

Previously, the two party leaders had outlined what is important to them in the coming months. CDU and CSU want to focus more on economic and security policy. The workshop discussion on asylum policy, which Kramp-Karrenbauer has invited for mid-February, should also serve this purpose. The Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann will now take part in the CSU.

Söder demanded that the Union deal with two parties in particular. That is the AfD on the one hand. Because that does not consist of "unfortunate, lonely conservatives" or "oppressed economic liberals", but is in many cases a case for the protection of the Constitution.

But one must also put the Greens, because they are "no saints". Söder complained that Germany was the only country to disembark from both nuclear energy and coal, without knowing exactly how it could guarantee security of supply. It is also in this area of ​​the Union to find a balance between the environmental and economic interests, said Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Just under four hours later, Söder and Kramp-Karrenbauer started working together again. Before the meeting of the Union faction they were photographed together with Angela Merkel, faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus, CSU country group leader Alexander Dobrindt and the EVP leading candidate Manfred Weber. CDU and CSU, so much was clear at the end of this day, are currently trying everything to give the impression of unity.

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