Updated: Nov 7, 2020
By George Hartley Merkel’s intended successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, announced on Monday she would step down as CDU leader and not run as Chancellor in the next German federal election. Merkel responded to the decision with ‘regret’ but ‘the deepest respect’.
The first candidates for Kramp-Karrenbauer’s replacement have registered their interest with the CDU headquarters. Der Spiegel reported that they were not well-known nationally, but current favourites include North Rhine-Westphalia state governor Armin Laschet and health minister Jens Spahn.
SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil suggested Merkel’s departure would lead to the end of the current SPD/CDU Grand Coalition. The Social Democrats will ‘leave coalition with her’ as planned, in October 2021, the next federal election.
Elsewhere German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier suggested the military and foreign policies of the US, Russia and China were destabilising world security at Munich’s Security Conference.
Plans by transport minister Andreas Scheuer to increase parking penalties were approved. The changes also include fines to better protect pedestrians and cyclists.
The AfD confirmed it has received a €7 million endowment from an engineer who died in 2018, in one of the largest donations ever received by a German political party.
Deutsche Bank halted delivery of packages to Hong Kong, China and Macao due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far infected 16 people in Germany.