In the ARD “summer interview”, the CDU chairman Friedrich Merz complained about gaps in the planned relief of the traffic light government. He had previously repeatedly criticized the coalition for neglecting many social groups – and even warned of a blackout. FOCUS online accompanies the interview from 6 p.m. in the live ticker.

6:17 p.m .: Habeck’s communication style would be suitable for the position as Chancellor, Merz admits. But he says: “His words are not followed by deeds.” Merz goes on to say in the quick question and answer session that he does not own a private jet and that the CDU will be younger and more female in the future.

6:16 p.m .: Merz continues to advocate providing more military support to Ukraine and delivering significantly more tanks. The government would prevent that with “flamboyant allegations”, he criticizes the traffic light.

6:13 p.m .: The CDU does not share Michael Kretschmer’s position that one should negotiate with Russia. “I’m still on friendly terms with him,” he emphasizes, but makes it clear: “He’s alone with this position in the party.” However, he admits that “unfortunately” people share Kretschmer’s opinion. “We in the East have a naive attitude towards Russia.”

6.10 p.m .: Merz advocates extending the lifespan of nuclear power plants. Changing the Atomic Energy Act for this is not a problem, says Merz. “It works operationally, personally and legally,” he says.

6:08 p.m .: “There are situations in which the state has to intervene,” Merz continues and advocates a price cap for electricity. “The state is the guardian.” The price cap had to be discussed behind closed doors, and the amount was difficult to determine.

6:05 p.m .: It will be relieved for 65 billion euros. “That’s all correct, but the relation must also be right,” says Merz. The government is thus compensating for higher taxes, he emphasizes. “Nothing is written down in this paper for companies and medium-sized companies,” criticizes Merz. “They have their backs to the wall.” He makes it clear: “The small and medium-sized companies are neglected by this coalition, you have to say that very clearly”.

6:04 p.m .: Merz is trying to find a good middle ground in the crisis. “In this crisis, it is not right for the opposition leader to only criticize,” he says. The new relief package is broad, says Hassel. Merz is of the same opinion. But he complains: “It is not at all clear where the electricity is supposed to come from. There is nothing about this in the coalition paper.”

6.03 p.m .: How do the citizens actually find the CDU boss? “Since they’re no longer in power, they’ve only been babbling around,” a citizen commented on the CDU chairman. Others applaud his assertiveness.

6:01 p.m.: The interview begins. Tina Hassel welcomes CDU leader Friedrich Merz to the “summer interview” in Berlin.

A real long-distance duel runs on Sunday evening on ARD and ZDF. There is only an hour between the traditional “summer interview” of the public broadcaster with the CDU chairman Friedrich Merz and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). In the energy crisis, Merz has repeatedly described the policy of the traffic light coalition as insufficient and disappointing. This also applies to the third relief package that Scholz presented on Sunday afternoon. He accused the coalition of forgetting small and medium-sized companies. At 6 p.m., ARD broadcasts the “summer interview” with Merz in the “Report from Berlin”. FOCUS online accompanies the interview here in the live ticker.

Merz had previously made it clear that pensioners and students are consistently neglected by the government. In addition, Merz has warned of a power failure in winter if Germany sticks to the nuclear phase-out. “There is a risk of the power grid being completely overloaded in autumn and winter, as well as an inadequate supply of electricity,” Merz told the “Bild am Sonntag”. ´