Status: December 17, 2021 8:50 p.m.
The members of the CDU want Friedrich Merz as chairman. The decision marks the actual end of the Merkel era, says Thomas Berbner. Merz has what it takes to realign the party.
It could have been easier for the CDU: the establishment of the Friedrich Merz party prevented the party twice, against the express will of its own base. For years, many CDU supporters had felt widespread that their party had lost its direction, that their values were up for grabs and that a course of “both – and” is simply not enough.
A party in ruins
At the end of Angela Merkel’s term of office, the CDU was in ruins, a barely possible lesson in the Bundestag election with a historically poor result – only when they had really hit the wall did the remnants of the CDU leadership hand over the wheel to its own members and ultimately to Friedrich Merz. He now has to reorganize the party, readjust the compass and, above all, bring the various wings of the CDU back together. There are more than enough open questions.
Lots of open questions
Does the CDU still stand for the social market economy? For the performance principle in our society, for the simple certainty that you can only spend money that you have previously earned? Does the CDU still stand for Germany as an industrial location, does it advocate realistic goals for climate protection in times of great excitement? Does the CDU still have a clear commitment to internal security with all the uncomfortable truths associated with it?
In this difficult situation, I think Friedrich Merz is a good choice, a man with edges and clear positions, that is what is needed now to rebuild the party. It will take a long time and whether Friedrich Merz will manage to return the CDU to its former strength is by no means clear. But one thing is certain for me: Today, with the clear result of the membership decision for Friedrich Merz, marks the actual end of the Merkel era.
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