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Prime Minister Günther: He, too, wants the heating sector to become emission-free

Photo: Marcus Brandt / dpa

According to polls, one in five would currently vote for the AfD – the approval ratings for the right-wing extremist party are even higher than for the SPD. So far, the Union has not wanted to have anything to do with it. Just last Sunday, Philipp Amthor said in the ARD talk with Anne Will: Responsible for this rise was solely the poor performance of the traffic light government and not Friedrich Merz.

Now, with Schleswig-Holstein's head of government Daniel Günther, a leading Union politician, admits a share of the blame for the current soaring of the AfD in the polls. "As a Union, we are not sufficiently successful in being perceived with convincing offers and picking up the disappointed voices," Günther told the Welt am Sonntag.

"So far, we have not been able to show people more precisely our alternatives, for example when it comes to heating. We need to be clearer about where we want to go," Günther said. At the same time, however, he emphasized that the AfD, as a right-wing extremist party, was "not a contact person for us at any political level."

Günther criticises FDP's opposition within the government

In Thuringia, it had sounded different this week. With the mayor of Waltershausen, Michael Brychcy, a Union local politician spoke out in favor of cooperation with the AfD on factual issues. Otherwise, there would be no progress at the local or state level in the east. "Not everyone in this party is fascist," Brychcy told MDR.

Günther warned in the interview that it does not make sense for the government and opposition to reproach each other on the subject of the AfD. "Both are currently unable to keep the AfD's poll ratings at a lower level," he noted.

However, Günther was critical of the FDP's government work at the federal level. "What doesn't work is to give the government's internal opposition in Berlin. In the end, this only harms the entire government," the politician said.

For the CDU/CSU, on the other hand, despite all the challenges, there is no question that Germany wants to be climate-neutral by 2045, Günther said. "This means, of course, that the heating sector must also become emission-free." Only the path of the Union would be different, he explained. "We should make this clear despite all the criticism of the considerable technical and communicative shortcomings of the traffic light coalition."