Jan 31, 2022·edited Jan 31, 2022

Thank you for a good summary.

A question: The Greens have certainly moved the next generation into their top leadership positions.

Is there pressure within the SPD to do so? Merkel was much younger than Scholz when she took office, and he is her current age. The inner workings of that party are ...opaque to me, and the current Ukraine crisis has only made it cloudier.

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Hi Eric,

The new party co-leader Lars Klingbeil is in his early 40s. He is basically what Germans call a Machtpolitiker - as party secretary he was often a bit too transparent in his attempts to blame everything that went wrong in 'grand coalition' on the CDU. I don't see much changing with him - he's been put in place to keep the party loyal to Scholz.

More interesting is Kevin Kühnert, who took Klingbeil's place as general secretary. He's till only 32 and is a great self-publicist. He's tried to push the party to the left in recent years with provocations on taboo subjects like expropriation. At such a young age he is already the most influential figure on the party left. On Russia though he is old school - has said west is "talking itself" into a conflict.

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Thank you. That was quite useful - with regards to Kühnert, since he is young, do you think that pro-Russia stance (for him, and many more left-wing politicians, excluding die Linke) comes from being around those who have personal nostalgia for Ostpolitik? Or do you think that it has more ... commercial motivations like Schröder? Since I only recently arrived to Germany, my study of German history has been through an admittedly American lens.

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