Commentary Politics

Has AKK ever been a mini-Merkel?

The media calls her “mini-Merkel”, but Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer shows that she wants to step out of the shadow of Angela Merkel. AKK chooses sharper words on migration policy, is not afraid of politically incorrect jokes, is against the ban on diesel cars, and is leading CDU in a more right-wing direction.

When Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected the new leader of CDU, the media labeled her a clone of current German Chancellor Angela Merkel who will lead the party in the same direction. Although AKK pointed out that she plans to move the party in a right-wing direction, most people have seen her election as a guarantee of the centralist direction of the CDU.

But AKK doesn´t plan to continue in Merkel's footsteps or policies. For example, in a situation similar to 2015, when a large number of immigrants came to Germany, AKK is ready to close the borders. She also opposes the ban on diesel cars entering some German cities. Such rhetoric is exactly what CDU wants to hear right now: that is, clear attitudes to relevant topics.

However, Kramp-Karrenbauer and Merkel both have a similar manner of action. Both are pragmatic and factual. But AKK is more conservative on migration, family, and LGBT issues, as is the rest of CDU. She is also not afraid of more controversial jokes, which she proved when she joked about third-sex toilets. Despite a wave of criticism from the LGBT community, AKK refused to apologize for the joke and identified the incident as artificially induced. She is similarly adamant when opposing French president Macron, rejecting the idea of ​​a European superstate and calling for the closing down of the European Parliament's residence in Strasbourg in an open letter.

German policy experts, however, point out that any comparisons with Merkel are out of place. AKK had spent 20 years in German politics, in which she promoted her own opinions. She agrees with Merkel in some cases, and in others, she has sharper views.

In the future, AKK might try to run for the German Chancellor office, and thus moderate her views, but at the moment she is exactly what the CDU needs: a uniting link among the CDU voters and also a truthful representative of Christian Democratic values.

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