So the success there has nothing to do with the politics of the federal party and its chairman Friedrich Merz?
The federal party and the entire Union family supports their campaigners in the federal states. I’m happy about that. Nevertheless, the following applies: state elections and trust are won in the states.
Does that mean that if things go wrong in NRW, is it solely on your account?
With the tailwind from Schleswig-Holstein and the good mood, which is also reflected in the polls, we will campaign again in the last few days until Sunday for people to put their trust in us and for us to become the strongest political force. We Christian Democrats also want to ensure political stability in North Rhine-Westphalia with a clear government mandate.
In Schleswig-Holstein, the AfD was kicked out of a state parliament for the first time.
And that should only be the beginning! That’s a strong signal. For our parliamentary culture, because the AfD often poisons the democratic debate in parliament with its slogans.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, the CDU could become the strongest force, but be dependent on the Greens as a coalition partner. However, these have much larger overlaps with the SPD. How do you want to convince the Greens?
I’m campaigning for a strong result from the CDU and for getting the government contract by being ahead. We have worked successfully and trustingly with the FDP and brought the country forward. I would like to continue this after May 15th. I am open to speaking with all democratic parties that want to move the country forward, that want to secure jobs with a modern economy and create new jobs, and that want to ensure good education and the best opportunities for everyone.
However, your government’s record in education is not particularly good. There is still a shortage of around 8,000 teachers, salaries have not yet been adjusted and NRW brings up the rear in terms of per capita expenditure on education.
We have taken on major challenges from red-green here. The previous government wanted to cut 6,800 jobs in schools. We stopped that and hired 10,000 additional teachers instead. We intend to employ the same number of additional teachers in the next election period. In addition, we want to provide teachers and every student with even better digital devices. Nowhere in the past few years have we had such high increases in funds as in education. And we will continue to invest heavily in the education of our children in the future. As far as salary is concerned, in future all teachers should receive A13 when they start their career, and even teachers who are already in a different salary system should receive the higher salary level with an unbureaucratic additional qualification.