Armin Laschet delivered again. The eternally underrated cleared three competitors out of the way at the CDU federal party conference. It was Friedrich Merz, Norbert Röttgen and also Jens Spahn. It was not the first time that the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister showed stamina and kept his nerve, even if many wanted to praise him on the President’s chair. He ran his candidacy and his courage was rewarded.
Now Laschet is at the head of the CDU. This means that the candidate for chancellor is within his grasp. The last two Chancellors Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel consider the Aachen resident to be cut from the right cloth. You trust him to fill the most powerful government office in Germany. With Merkel, however, the main concern was to prevent her intimate enemy Friedrich Merz. Any other candidate was fine with her. Gerhard Schröder justifies his praise for Laschet in terms of content. It is suitable because it can combine the economic and the social.
So far, Friedrich Merz has always been the favorite in business. However, Laschet has shown in North Rhine-Westphalia that he can pursue an active industrial policy. This is part of the standard repertoire of a NRW Prime Minister. What stands out, however, is that, unlike the federal government, he has already created a digital ministry in Düsseldorf. With the FDP politician Pinkwart, he also found the ideal man for it.
Laschet has proclaimed a “decade of modernization”. Important elements here are startup funding and a moratorium on taxes and duties. What is still missing is a tax concept. Laschet says he doesn’t want to talk about it until after a cash drop after the general election. But he cannot avoid this major reform project beforehand if he wants to successfully combat the economic consequences of the pandemic.
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In terms of location competition, Germany has slipped dramatically. This is especially true for corporate taxes. Countries as different as the United States and France have already lowered taxes. In Germany, companies are eagerly waiting for the same to happen in this country. For the service providers, the complete abolition of the solos would also help, which incidentally all medium-sized companies have to pay.
The fight for the candidacy for chancellor is still ahead
Laschet won a mountain stage by gaining the CDU chairmanship. But it is not more. The individual time trial against the ambitious Markus Söder is still ahead. The Bavarian Prime Minister has not yet withdrawn his own ambitions for the Union to run for Chancellor. In addition, Laschet will face further tests.
For one thing, he has to pacify the party. After all, Friedrich Merz has won almost half of the votes and is still a favorite of the base. When it comes to merging different camps, however, Laschet can play to its strengths, as a look at his state cabinet shows. He has a black sheriff as interior minister and a Sacred Heart Socialist as welfare minister.
Then come the state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. There the CDU has to win against two popular prime ministers. This will show for the first time whether there is a Laschet effect.
But the overriding topic is the fight against the corona pandemic. As party chairman and possible candidate for chancellor, Laschet is now paying more attention to every small breakdown and every major mishap in his crisis management. In terms of communication, he’s clearly lagging behind Markus Söder so far. The Franconian cannot show any better numbers, but in the surveys he is ahead of Laschet thanks to clever rhetoric and staging.
Laschet’s election was also a directional decision that left its mark on the election campaign. The SPD had secretly hoped for Merz. A Merz-prevent election campaign would have mobilized their electorate to the maximum. That is now completely eliminated. The Greens can live exceptionally well with Laschet. He belongs to the Pizza Connection and thus one of the banner bearers from the very beginning. The FDP can be happy twice. Laschet has made a clear commitment to his black-yellow coalition. In addition, the FDP does not have to fear that Friedrich Merz will steal bourgeois voters from them.
Laschet caressed the soul of the party in his speech. He successfully solicited trust. He provided the digital goosebumps moment when he remembered his father, who was a miner and showed his badge with the Never 813. The Germans love ascension stories and Laschet set this point ingeniously. That is why the old Steiger motto now applies in the Union: Glückauf, the Laschet is coming.
More: This is what the new CDU boss’s economic policy plans look like.