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Germany: Friedrich Merz announces CDU leadership bid03:11

Germany: Friedrich Merz announces CDU leadership bid

Germany, Berlin
February 25, 2020 at 18:00 GMT +00:00 · Published

Friedrich Merz announced on Tuesday in Berlin that he will run to replace Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as the leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, in the leadership elections which are set to take place on April 25.

Merz, a former investment banker and chairman of the supervisory board of the German branch of BlackRock, said we live in "agitated times," and added that "the country is polarised" especially through the recent attacks and right-wing extremism, which he said Germany had "massively underestimated."

He promised that if he is elected to take Kramp-Karrenbauer's place, to tackle illegal immigration in Germany, and said that Germany would consider closing borders if the outside EU borders weren't "sufficient" enough.

Criticising German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Merz alluded to decisions being made "without consensus with the EU, including some explicitly and openly. I speak again about the topic of energy politics, and again of immigration politics. It doesn't work nationally alone, therefore we need European partners."

"What happened in Thuringia should never have been allowed to happen," he said, referring to the Minister-President election scandal that precipitated Kramp-Karrenbauer's resignation.

North Rhine Westphalia Minister-President Armin Laschet also announced on Tuesday that he will be running to become the new CDU leader, while Health Minister Jens Spahn, who was a candidate during the last leadership election, will run as his deputy.

Germany: Friedrich Merz announces CDU leadership bid03:11
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Friedrich Merz announced on Tuesday in Berlin that he will run to replace Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as the leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, in the leadership elections which are set to take place on April 25.

Merz, a former investment banker and chairman of the supervisory board of the German branch of BlackRock, said we live in "agitated times," and added that "the country is polarised" especially through the recent attacks and right-wing extremism, which he said Germany had "massively underestimated."

He promised that if he is elected to take Kramp-Karrenbauer's place, to tackle illegal immigration in Germany, and said that Germany would consider closing borders if the outside EU borders weren't "sufficient" enough.

Criticising German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Merz alluded to decisions being made "without consensus with the EU, including some explicitly and openly. I speak again about the topic of energy politics, and again of immigration politics. It doesn't work nationally alone, therefore we need European partners."

"What happened in Thuringia should never have been allowed to happen," he said, referring to the Minister-President election scandal that precipitated Kramp-Karrenbauer's resignation.

North Rhine Westphalia Minister-President Armin Laschet also announced on Tuesday that he will be running to become the new CDU leader, while Health Minister Jens Spahn, who was a candidate during the last leadership election, will run as his deputy.

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