Despite the frequent criticism of her person, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) does not see herself in self-defense mode, according to her own words. “I don’t have to justify myself at all. I have to make it clear what I stand for and what decisions I make – that’s my job, and that’s what I do,” said the SPD politician on Monday on ARD.
Lambrecht is accused of putting the brakes on the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. Opposition leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) had therefore asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to dismiss Lambrecht.
In addition, Lambrecht was further criticized because she had visited a very small Bundeswehr unit nearby immediately before a vacation on Sylt and had had herself and her son flown there by helicopter.
She is also in trouble because she blurted out internal SPD considerations that Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser should stand in the 2023 state elections in Hesse.
Lambrecht also explained on ARD that the criticism of her had no influence on the struggle with the Union for the planned Bundeswehr special fund. “It doesn’t matter at all in these negotiations, it doesn’t matter at all in the day-to-day business I’m in,” she said. Organizing support for Ukraine and better equipping the Bundeswehr – “that requires all my energy”.
In the dispute over the structure of the Bundeswehr special fund, Lambrecht called on the Union to move. At the same time, she was optimistic. “At the moment I have the feeling that everyone (…) really wants to pull together and equip the Bundeswehr as it urgently needs,” she said.
That is why she is “very optimistic” that there will be an agreement before the summer break because of “constructive talks”. “Anyone who publicly declares their support for the Bundeswehr and also recognizes that there is a great need for action here must now also show their colors.”
At the same time, she dodged the question of whether she would agree with the threat made by SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich to decide on better equipment for the Bundeswehr even without the Union. He had told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” that if the CDU and CSU refused the necessary two-thirds majority in the Bundestag for an amendment to the Basic Law, Article 115 would also allow borrowing with a simple majority in an emergency situation.
The wrestling is about, among other things, what the money should be spent on – only for the Bundeswehr or also for other security-related areas – and how permanent better financing of the troops can be ensured.