CSU demands rightward shift to lift government

Germany's ruling parties – the Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister, the Christian Social Union – need to get back to their conservative roots to counter terrible polls, the CSU chairman said Saturday.

CSU demands rightward shift to lift government
Photo: DPA

Speaking to a conference of the Bavarian branch of the Junge Union (the CDU and CSU’s youth organization), Horst Seehofer said Germany’s traditional conservative parties need to win back their core voters. The CSU chairman said his party must remain “the party of justice and order.”

“We won’t let ourselves be unsettled by false liberalism,” Seehofer said, adding that the CDU and the CSU should not “chase after the zeitgeist,” but should represent its core basic values.

Seehofer said that despite a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, the CSU would continue to demand retroactive preventive detention for criminals that present a danger to the public.

Seehofer also joined in his conservative colleagues Stanislaw Tillich and Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle in calling for an end to the pension guarantee, which was recently described by Tillich as an “excessive burden on the younger generation.”

But Seehofer faced tough questions from many of the delegates, and the head of the Bavarian Junge Union Stefan Müller called the government’s poor results a “warning signal.” Many of the delegates at Saturday’s conference criticised Seehofer and the federal government for the disunity and policy mistakes that have led to the recent slump.

Müller also criticised Seehofer’s position on the pension guarantee, and said that merely stopping it would not solve Germany’s problems. He called for a wholesale reform of the pension system.

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Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.