Monday 24 January 2022, 12:57 PM
German Chancellor candidates hold 1st TV debate
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/21/2021 1:51:39 PM
German Chancellor candidates hold 1st TV debate

Berlin: The top three candidates vying to succeed Angela Merkel as the next german Chancellor in the September federal elections held their first televised debate hosted by the public broadcaster WDR.In the debate on Thursday, Annalena Baerbock, the candidate of the Green Party, who is currently leading the polls with around 26 per cent backing ahead of the governing Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), emphasized environmental issues and recalled that a recent ruling by Germany's Constitutional Court was necessary for the country to take immediate climate action, reports Xinhua news agency.

Baerbock described the NATO target, which requires allies to spend at least two percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defence each year, as "absurd" and called for the withdrawal of all nuclear weapons stationed in Germany.She is also the only female Chancellor candidate in the upcoming polls.

The CDU/CSU's candidate, Armin Laschet, whose recent nomination has led to a significant drop in the polls to around 24 per cent, defended the record of the previous governments and said it was "silly" to believe that a single court order was responsible for Germany's climate action.Laschet criticised the "opportunistic" approach of certain European countries to their relationship with the European Union (EU).

"When things go wrong, the EU is always to blame, but when things go well, member states claim success for themselves," he said.Olaf Scholz, incumbent Finance Minister and Chancellor candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is currently a good 10 percentage points behind the leading Green Party, called for solidarity within the EU. "Everyone must do their part," he said.

Discussing the EU's decision-making processes, Scholz suggested that it should be made possible to "abolish the principle of unanimity for certain areas". He was committed to NATO's military spending target but dampened hopes that it could be achieved quickly. Merkel, who assumed office in 2005, is set to retire after the September 26 polls.She is is the first-ever female Chancellor of Germany.

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candidates,Angela Merkel,german,Chancellor,televised,broadcaster,WDR,

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