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SPD warns Thuringian CDU against voting with AfD – Greens offer “wind peace”

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The SPD warns of a new political taboo in Thuringia. According to media reports, the CDU in the state parliament is considering pushing through a request for fixed wind turbine distances next week with the approval of the AfD. SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert appealed to CDU leader Friedrich Merz. “Leadership is now required in the CDU, because the authority of party leader Friedrich Merz is also being challenged in the state parliament in Erfurt,” said Kühnert to the “Spiegel”.

A law against the votes of the red-red-green minority government is “a law majority by Höcke’s grace,” explained Kühnert, alluding to the AfD state and parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke. “Something like this has never existed and must never exist.” Apparently, the CDU is of the opinion that in cooperation with the AfD, the exclusion zone only begins with joint coalitions. “Anyone who argues like that hasn’t learned anything.” The CDU now had a few days left to “spare the Free State of Thuringia a disservice”.

FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai also called on the Christian Democrats to resolve the situation. “The CDU is responsible for preventing the situation created by its application,” said the FDP politician to the editorial network Germany (RND). “It is not clear why she is now provoking this state political situation.” The state parliamentary group of the FDP has also signaled approval of the Union’s application. In terms of content, it is about a minimum distance of 1000 meters between new wind turbines and residential buildings.

Sharp criticism of the CDU also came from the Greens. CDU party leader Merz said in December last year “With me there will be a firewall to the AfD” and even threatened party exclusion proceedings in the event of infringement, the political director of the Federal Greens, Emily Büning, recalled in the “Spiegel” of relevant statements by Merz . “Now he is silent while the Thuringian CDU plans to push through two draft laws with the votes of the AfD against the state government for the first time.”

Thuringia’s CDU parliamentary group leader Mario Voigt rejected the criticism. “This is about Thuringian issues, and I expect that solutions will also be found here in Thuringia,” he said. The reactions from the federal government showed how far “the Berlin bubble has moved away from the reality of life of people in rural areas.” Kühnert doesn’t care about the people in Thuringia at all. “The criticism has only one goal: to torpedo the successful course of Friedrich Merz.”

In order to avert the vote, Thuringia’s Environment Minister Anja Siegesmund offered the CDU parliamentary group a “wind peace” on Saturday. The Greens politician told the broadcaster MDR Thüringen that if the CDU put their controversial draft law on a minimum distance between wind turbines and settlements on hold, it could be discussed.

The energy paper of the current exploratory talks between the CDU and the Greens in North Rhine-Westphalia could serve as a basis, said Siegesmund. It contains suggestions as to how the further expansion of renewables could be planned and approved more quickly and how the space for this could be found.

CDU faction leader Voigt then also said on MDR Thuringia that the Thuringian CDU had been ready to talk for months. He would like a citizen-friendly solution for the expansion of wind power with clear intervals – and will therefore speak to Anja Siegesmund on Tuesday. However, he expects red-red-green to show the same willingness to compromise as the CDU. In addition, the Greens and SPD should whistle their “Berlin people” back.

In the Erfurt state parliament, the opposition from the CDU, AfD and FDP has great influence because the red-red-green coalition government of Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) does not have its own majority – it is missing four votes.

The CDU and the FDP have already had negative experiences in dealing with the AfD in Thuringia. On February 5, 2020, the FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich was elected Prime Minister of the Free State with votes from the AfD, CDU and FDP. The AfD had dropped its own candidate without votes and voted for Kemmerich. The Liberal accepted the election. The event triggered a nationwide storm of indignation. The election was often perceived as breaking a political taboo. After public pressure, Kemmerich announced his resignation one day after the vote, which he completed three days after the election.

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