A month ago, the Union called for the resignation of Defense Minister Lambrecht. A New Year's speech reignites the debate about the SPD politician. Even experts are appalled.
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht had to take massive criticism and malice for a New Year's speech. The CDU defense politician Serap Güler wrote on Twitter that Lambrecht's speech about the war with New Year's fireworks in the background only crowned her "series of embarrassments".
Güler indirectly called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to dismiss the SPD politician: "Every additional minute that the @Chancellor still holds on to this minister and thus further damages the reputation of our country is on his account."
Lambrecht had posted her almost one-minute New Year's speech on her private Instagram account. The year 2022 "presented us with incredible challenges," she says. Because of the New Year's rockets, it is sometimes difficult to understand. "A war is raging in the middle of Europe." Lambrecht continues: "For me, there were a lot of special impressions that I was able to gain. Many, many encounters with interesting, great people. I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for that."
She will now "celebrate the turn of the year with family and friends," said Lambrecht. "And I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who cannot do this because they are on duty for us, as soldiers or police officers, in the hospital or in other areas."
"It's so unbearably insensitive," criticized security expert Ulrike Franke from the Berlin think tank European Council on Foreign Relations on Twitter. There is war in Europe and Lambrecht says that she has met great people. "Have they lost their minds in Berlin?" Ex-CDU leader Armin Laschet agreed with the verdict: "Does the Chancellor really care about Germany's impact in Europe and the world?"
CSU boss Markus Söder had already called for Lambrecht's resignation a month ago. "It would simply be better for Ms. Lambrecht if she would stop voluntarily," he told the "Bild" newspaper. "Anyone who can't even order ammunition and struggles to buy some American fighter planes is simply not up to the job." CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja said on ntv in mid-December that Lambrecht was "not the right person for this office, especially in these difficult times". The reason for this was the problems with the "Puma" infantry fighting vehicle.
The historian and Eastern Europe expert Jan Behrends tweeted in view of Lambrecht's New Year's Eve appearance that in the current situation "we can't afford this lady in the Ministry of Defense". The Chancellor must "act in the interests of the country and the alliance". The political scientist Constanze Stelzenmüller from the Brookings Institution in Washington simply wrote: "Perplexed. Simply perplexed."
Former CDU foreign politician Ruprecht Polenz commented that "Scharping's splashing about with Countess Pilati is nothing compared to that". SPD Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping had himself photographed by the magazine "Bunte" in 2001 with his then partner Kristina Pilati-Borggreve in a swimming pool on Mallorca.
The satirist Jan Böhmermann also said: "Tomorrow Christine Lambrecht will take up the post of Minister of Self-Defense."
Lambrecht was Minister of Justice until 2021, and she did not stand in the last federal election. Scholz surprisingly made her Minister of Defense after the election. After the Russian attack on Ukraine, her department was responsible for implementing the turning point announced by Scholz - an additional burden in an office that is already considered a difficult ministry.
Lambrecht is reportedly flirting with the post of interior minister, which would become vacant if current incumbent Nancy Faeser were elected prime minister of Hesse in the fall. So far, however, this wish has not been confirmed, and Faeser has not been elected SPD top candidate in Hesse.