This time there is even a lively argument about foreign policy. When Annalena Baerbock, Chancellor candidate of the Greens, accuses the federal government of having made authoritarian forces like China and Russia really big through too soft an attitude, a mood arises. FDP leader Christian Lindner supports Baerbock in her criticism that Germany single-handedly sought an investment agreement with China and thus snubbed the EU partners. CSU boss Markus Söder then takes the green and is once again the Merkel fan. The Chancellor had brought Germany through the foreign policy crises in an excellent way. “You saw that in Afghanistan,” shouts Baerbock. You shouldn't cuddle with China, says Söder, but you don't need “a complete doctrine of teaching either”. Because of an "immature attitude towards the world",subordinate Söder to the Greens, one shouldn't endanger hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Markus Wehner

Political correspondent in Berlin.

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Alice Weidel from the AfD also warns of the club that Baerbock is swinging. Germany needs a good relationship with Russia and China, the People's Republic in particular is "already far too important". The left-wing candidate Janine Wissler does not want to talk about human rights in China, but rather about whether Turkey can continue to be supplied with weapons. She admits that an immediate dissolution of NATO by Germany is not possible, but considers the North Atlantic alliance to be “completely outmoded”. If she were in the Bundestag, she would have abstained from the question of whether the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan should pull out people at risk after the Taliban came to power - as the majority of her parliamentary group did. Scholz and Laschet admit almost word for word the goal of a strong and sovereign Europe. "That is the most important taskthat we have as Germans, ”says Scholz. With a view to Afghanistan, Laschet warns that Europe must become so strong "that we can act even if the USA withdraws".

"Final round" - this is the name of the format with which the election campaign on television should be concluded on Thursday evening in ARD and ZDF - after three "trialles" with the candidates for chancellor, all sorts of individual questions or a round of four for those parties that do not have a candidate for the chancellor's office have set up. Now everyone can run again together. The special thing about the group is that, so to speak, two candidates for the Union's chancellor are there: Armin Laschet - and the one who believes that he would have been the better one, i.e. Söder.

It is unusual for the CSU boss to take part. Because the top candidates of the parties represented in the Bundestag were invited. For the CSU, state group leader Alexander Dobrindt should have been there, because he is the top candidate of his party. In addition, the candidates should argue among themselves, but Söder actually has to support his candidate for chancellor. Over the past few months, Söder has repeatedly created the impression that he is fighting Laschet more than supporting him. Together with Dobrindt and CSU General Secretary Markus Blume, he had repeatedly poked at him. That ranged from the publicly presented assessment that Söder would have been more successful, to the announcement that second place does not entitle him to lead a government to the announcement a few days before the election thatthat the CDU would have to face an error analysis afterwards.

Söder shows on Thursday that offensive is his strength. When it comes to the increasing radicalization of lateral thinkers, Alice Weidel turns against the "stigmatization of large parts of the population", with which society is divided, while Janine Wissler continues to campaign for the abolition of the constitutional protection, which like all secret services does not to be controlled. “We're not dividing society, we're protecting it,” parried Söder. The AfD, on the other hand, reinforces the anti-state sentiments of unconventional thinkers, who also resonate with racist and anti-Semitic slogans, for which the protection of the constitution is needed.

In the end, it's about who wants to rule with whom.

Scholz repeats his commitment to NATO, the EU, the Bundeswehr and the USA when he is asked about a possible alliance with the left.

Söder is sure that the SPD can still be "intercepted".

Laschet warns again of the red-green-red danger.

There was nothing poisonous between Laschet and Söder that evening.

Only once, when Söder is interrupted, he says that he wants to finish, "there have already been some good trials".

However, Söder has announced that he will not be in Munich on election evening, but in Berlin.

He will take part in the elephant round of the party leaders on television, confirmed the CSU headquarters.

Then there could be a completely different final round.

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