In the debate about the Union’s right candidate for chancellor, CSU boss Markus Söder formulated criteria for the job. “The core question in the candidacy for chancellor is: Who can concentrate the Union’s votes the most? Then the CDU has to decide,” said Söder to the star. “We’re not here for a holiday job. It’s about getting Germany fit.” Söder continued: “It’s like a penalty shootout: Who can you trust with the last penalty? That’s the stuff that politicians have to be made of – regardless of whether they are prime minister or want to become chancellor.”

In the event of an early election, CDU leader Friedrich Merz would “certainly be the favorite,” said Söder. He denied any interest in running for the Union in the next federal election. “A CSU chairman only has the opportunity to be a candidate for chancellor once in his life.” He described the collaboration with Merz as “really, very good”.

However, Söder distanced himself from his controversial plumbing statement. “Plumbing is a very honorable profession,” the 56-year-old told the star. “And because I’m a big Reinhard Mey fan, I always thought his song ‘I’m a plumber by profession’ was very good.” One expects from a good plumber “that in the end everything that was broken will work again.” Söder continues: “Sometimes you wait longingly for him.” Merz had described the Chancellor in the Bundestag as the “plumber of power” and then criticized Plumber himself: “He turns small screws, but he is not able to produce the entire structure,” said the CDU leader. The statements also caused irritation in the Union.

In the stern interview, Söder also took a hard line against the Greens and left-wing activism. He called on environmental activist Greta Thunberg to take up training. “Greta Thunberg would be more convincing with proper training than with disturbing statements about the Middle East conflict,” said Söder. “Hard work never hurt anyone.” Thunberg recently took a sharp stance against Israel in the Gaza war, thereby sparking anger among environmental activists.

Söder also criticized a “wokeness philosophy” in the political debate. “We are currently experiencing a rollback because the wokeness is getting on the nerves of many people. Everyone is allowed to speak as they want. Everyone is allowed to gender as they want. But if there is a moral accusation behind it, it annoys and angers many people,” criticized the CSU boss. “You can see in the US where this wokeness philosophy is leading. It has conjured up the Tea Party and other more radical movements.”

If you take an extreme position on one side, then the same thing will happen on the other side. “I don’t think it’s successful either. Hollywood has recently produced a few films that were particularly woke. Most were flops. One of the few that were different and made money was Top Gun: Maverick.”