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HomeDeutschlandDuring the ARD-Talk: Aiwanger refers to Greens as "anti-farmer", then things get...

During the ARD-Talk: Aiwanger refers to Greens as “anti-farmer”, then things get heated at Maischberger

Currently, tractors are blocking traffic on roads throughout Germany: The farmer protests are inflaming passions – even at Sandra Maischberger’s. Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters) and Green Party parliamentary leader Omid Nouripour discussed the extent of the protests on Tuesday evening.

At the beginning of the week, farmer protests have brought highways and city centers to a standstill nationwide, as farmers express their discontent with the policies of the traffic light coalition government. On Tuesday, Sandra Maischberger invited two politicians for a debate, who could not be more different.

Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger (52, Free Voters) and Green Party leader Omid Nouripour (48) discussed, among other things, the cut in subsidies for agricultural diesel.

Aiwanger prickly: Greens and SPD “particularly anti-farmer”

Nouripour defended the measures, referring to studies that showed the cuts were “not existential”. Aiwanger, on the other hand, sharply criticized the government: He had the impression that the SPD and Greens were “particularly anti-farmer”, according to the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs.

“Particularly anti-farmer”, a strong accusation. When the talk show host also brought up the incident at the ferry port, things got heated at the ARD-Talk. Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck (54, Greens) had recently become the target of the protesters. The protesting farmers had prevented the Vice Chancellor from leaving a ferry. However, Aiwanger, a trained farmer himself, was unwilling to condemn the intensified protests.

His argument: He could not assess the situation because he wasn’t present: He couldn’t “say how the situation was” from 1,000 kilometers away. Furthermore, the parties involved on the spot had stated that they “did not perceive it as violent.”

“Only with pepper spray”: Why Aiwanger couldn’t condemn heated protesters

Maischberger then cited a police report: According to which, the officers had been able to prevent 25 to 30 demonstrators from storming the ferry using only pepper spray.

Despite all objections, Aiwanger did not allow himself to be drawn into a condemnation of the action. And after all, no one knows whether something would have happened to Habeck if he had left the ferry.

In this context, Nouripour appealed to his interlocutor: “Let’s leave Habeck out of this,” said Nouripour and reminded that there were also passengers with children on the ferry. “Why can’t you say that it is unacceptable that people coming back from vacation cannot disembark from a ferry because the farmers are upset due to the politics of others? You can just say that.”

“Marching with extremists”: Harsh accusations against the Greens

The Green politician raised the debate to a somewhat more personal level: “When you give a speech and tomatoes or stones are thrown, or people want to storm the stage. I promise you, I am the first to stand up and say: That is completely unacceptable, that is to be rejected, I reject that, leave Aiwanger alone,” promised Nouripour.

In this country, everyone has the right to express their opinion freely, without having to fear violence. Ultimately, Nouripour also had a few complimentary words for the Farmers’ Association.

He appreciated their clear stance against the attempts of extremists to hijack the protests. Even though there were always people who would try: “And these are people who have fantasies of overthrow,” he said.

Aiwanger, on the other hand, did not see any danger in the protests: “A few lunatics” did not have the power to achieve anything at the demonstrations. Farmers are interested in stable conditions, emphasized the Free Voters’ leader as he turned the tables.

He accused Nouripour of marching “with extremists” at atomic demonstrations and other events. Aiwanger also did not find the occasional nooses hanging from tractors worrisome, but simply tasteless and “counterproductive.”

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