January 21, 2022

Beyond Going Long

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German candidates for office met in a recent TV debate

According to a quick survey conducted by the agency, most viewers considered SPD candidate Schulz the winner of the last television debate – like the previous two debates.

Minimum wages, the fourth stage of labor market reform (Hartz IV), climate protection and the coronavirus pandemic were the main topics of the recent TV debate between the candidates for the future German chancellor – Christian Democrat Armin Laschet and Social Democrat Olaf Schulz Annalena Barbock via the Greens. The ninety-minute debate was broadcast on ProSieben, Sat 1 and Kabeleins Sunday night.

In this debate, SPD candidates and the Greens agreed in several places, particularly on social issues. However, the real-life controversy itself did not bring any new moments. DPA reported that Laschet, Schulze, and Birbock largely reiterated their positions from the numerous pre-election speeches and previous television debates.

Barbock has reiterated her call for an end to the use of internal combustion engines from 2030 to an early end to power production from coal. Laschet also reiterated his position that the use of coal should have been stopped instead of producing electricity at nuclear power plants, but according to him, it is not the current Chancellor Angela Merkel that is to blame, but environmental activists.

Schulz warned that German industry must become climate neutral in the next 25 years. To achieve this, efficient distribution networks must be expanded and renewable energies promoted vigorously.

Schulz and Barbock unanimously called for an increase in the legal minimum wage to 12 euros. According to the Green Party candidate, single parents in particular have found themselves in a “poverty trap” and this injustice must eventually be reversed. On this topic, Laschet said that people with lower incomes should be in a better position. But he rejected an increase in the minimum wage by the state, describing it as important to the participants in collective bargaining.

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According to a quick Forsa poll, a majority of viewers (42 percent) considered SPD candidate Schulz the winner of the last television debate — as well as the two previous debates. Laschet was second with 27 percent and Baerbock third with 25 percent.