End of year speech in Berlin, controversy over the minister: “He talks about war in a triumph of firecrackers”

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. Photo credits: EPA-EFE/SHAWN THEW

We are on January 3, but the end-of-year controversies have not yet subsided and in particular the New Year’s speech by the defense minister is being criticized, Christine Lambrecht (SPD).

In particular, Lambrecht is attacked for speaking about the war in Ukraine in the streets of Berlin, against a background of noisy celebratory firecrackers. Choice considered by some to be in bad taste.

The opposition attacks the defense minister’s New Year’s speech

In the video posted on Instagram, Lambrecht is on a street in the German capital on New Year’s Eve, entrusting the camera with the customary thanks and equally usual good wishes to the soldiers. His words, however, are difficult to understand, because they are covered by the sound of firecrackers.

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Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). Photo: Kuebi = Armin Kübelbeck, CC BY-SA 3.0 < via Wikimedia Commons

This aspect of the video has been the target of controversy. At a time when, not too far away, the war in Ukraine continues, the firecrackers of the Berlin New Year’s Eve have been considered, by critical voices, almost like a parody in very bad taste. Especially considering the fact that Lambrecht expressly underlines the sad reality of the conflict. In fact, he says: “There is a war raging in the middle of Europe”, while behind him people celebrate with fireworks.

Naturally, it was above all the opposition (CDU and CSU) that rode the controversies and in part fomented them, emphasizing how the choice of the minister was out of place. The CSU defense expert, Florian Hahn, wrote: “This video speaks for itself. How embarrassing, how inappropriate.”

Laschet points the finger too, but maybe he shouldn’t

Among those who point fingers is also Armin Laschetthe former CDU leader later replaced by Friedrich Merz. The former candidate of the Union for the chancellorship claims that Lambrecht’s behavior has aroused astonishment even abroad and in this regard he shared the tweet of Ulrike Franke, Senior Policy Fellow of the European Council of Foreign Relations.

On Musk’s social media, Franke points out that the video is totally inappropriate and wonders: “Have they lost their minds in Berlin?“. Laschet relaunches: “Is the chancellor really completely indifferent to the impact of Germany, in Europe and in the world?”.

What is certain is that even Laschet, for his part, was not exactly free from embarrassment. Still alive in the collective memory, in fact, is his merry laugh behind the federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeieras he made statements to the press regarding the July 2021 flood in West Germany.

Laschet laughs

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Armin Laschet laughs as Steinmeier talks about the flood victims

Meanwhile, the German defense ministry did not deem it appropriate to provide official explanations, because Lambrecht posted the video on his private profile.

The recent controversies involving Lambrecht

However, it is not the first time that the minister has found herself at the center of the storm, such as when she was accused that he used a military helicopter to travel to Sylt with his son on holiday.

More recently, however, there has been talk of the Puma tanks not working, the purchase of which Lambrecht has authorized in view of a special exercise by the German army with NATO. Even if there is no direct responsibility of the minister, in relation to the failure of the Pumas, Lambrecht was still accused of having mishandled the situation.

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End of year speech in Berlin, controversy over the minister: “He talks about war in a triumph of firecrackers” – il Mitte