CSU: Söder complains about Bayern bashing

No question - in the hot summer of 2022 Markus Söder found his new role.

CSU: Söder complains about Bayern bashing

No question - in the hot summer of 2022 Markus Söder found his new role. Since the Corona crisis allowed it again, the 55-year-old has not given himself a breather, making appointments and appointments across the country, shaking hands, laughing at cameras and giving speeches. Anyone who accompanies the CSU chairman hears one thing over and over and over again: Söder's accusation of Bayern bashing.

Whenever and wherever the Bavarian Prime Minister speaks, it doesn't take long before there's talk of accusations that the federal government is deliberately making life difficult for the Free State. "The north should be deliberately preferred and the south disadvantaged," says Söder, or even calls it a palpable "anti-Bavarian mood," which is already evident in the fact that there are no federal ministers from Bavaria. The criticism of the Bavarian costumes at the reception of the G7 guests at Munich Airport was grist for a well-running mill.

Only a few wish for a passive Söder

Within the CSU, Söder is well received with his aggressiveness. Nobody in the CSU is interested in the fact that a Berlin government spokesman rejects the allegations. Criticism of the federal government has always been a guarantee of applause in the party - especially from those who position themselves more in the conservative than in the liberal wing of the party. Because it is part of the nature of the CSU to place itself loyally and protectively around the party chairman, especially when faced with external pressure.

Therefore, regardless of any question about the justification of the criticism, it can first be stated: Around 15 months before the state elections in Bavaria, which are decisive for Söder, the mixed situation is definitely helping him to close the ranks in the CSU. This also fits in with the fact that the CSU leadership has now clearly rejected any thoughts of tying up with the Greens. Söder used to have these thoughts - and even publicly flirted with a government in which the Greens are involved.

After many in the CSU in recent years because of Söder's initially very strict corona policy or his attempt to "green" the CSU through tree hugs or bee rescues, Söder is running with his current one Narratively open doors at many regulars' tables, beer tents and CSU district associations. Few, it is said, would wish for a more reserved Söder.

Söder's list of allegations is long

But back to Söder's latest bashing narrative: the list of allegations is long. So long that even in the CSU there is hardly anyone who can claim to be complete: On the one hand, there is talk of canceled, reduced or questioned subsidies such as for the Munich S-Bahn main line, the German Center for Mobility in Munich or the hydrogen application center in Pfeffenhausen, Lower Bavaria.

But the list is even longer: the withdrawal of the promised stationing of the A400M military aircraft in Lagerlechfeld is particularly painful for the CSU, which is happy to support the Bundeswehr and aviation. The same applies to the question mark placed by the new federal government behind the planned expansion of the Danube.

Bavaria also sees the federal government's search for alternatives to Russian natural gas as evidence of the disadvantages facing the south. While the terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Wilhelmshaven are being decisively promoted, a terminal in Lubmin, which is important for the east and south, hardly gets any attention, it is said. The same applies to the federal government's plans for a hydrogen pipeline from the Mediterranean region to southern Germany, which have so far obviously been lacking.

However, Söder and his CSU do not leave it at simple whining or lamentation, as critical observers have long been calling it. Resistance has long been part of the CSU narrative style. Especially when it comes to the top issue of energy supply, Söder, his party and the state government he leads have long been on the offensive. Wherever someone badmouths Bayern, the echo comes back quickly. And what's more - in the meantime, doubts about Bavaria's willingness to pay for the state financial equalization can be heard again.

This was also felt by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), who explained on Wednesday that an extension of the service life of German nuclear power plants might make "sense" by saying that the power grids in Bavaria were in poor condition and that the expansion of renewable energies in Bavaria had not made good progress . "Unfortunately, the chancellor is wrong when he criticizes the expansion of renewables in Bavaria," counters Söder, referring to current figures, according to which Bavaria defended its top spot in 2022.

The CSU's wide-ranging Bayern bashing list is not easy to refute - and that also makes its reception very helpful - because the examples are initially correct in their core. However, it can neither be proven nor denied whether there is a conscious, intentional strategy on the part of the federal government. In any case, Söder should try to make as much political capital as possible from the situation until further notice, if not until the election in autumn 2023.

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