After losing the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, the SPD admits its biggest mistake: the party did not pay enough attention to the concerns of the citizens, party leader Lars Klingbeil admitted during a press conference in the morning.

“Sometimes we had debates in political Berlin that didn’t have much to do with the reality of life for the local people,” said SPD leader Klingbeil after the North Rhine-Westphalia election debacle on the side of Ukraine: “But we allowed too much to be said about arms deliveries and not enough about the increased cost of living and energy prices.”

“If we look at the figures and analyses, we see that one topic has not been adequately addressed,” says Klingbeil. The issue of inflation and rising prices is what has concerned people the most. “This is a clear signal to the SPD to take this issue more into account,” said Klingbeil.

The SPD party leader underlined that the federal government has launched two large relief packages – “over 30 billion euros in relief for the citizens”. In addition, there would be one of the highest pension increases in recent decades.

However, Klingbeil announces that it will now focus on social issues again: “We ran in the federal elections with the clear statement “Social policy for you”. This was reflected in the coalition agreement. For example, with the minimum wage, citizen’s allowance or basic child security. “All of these are projects that we are now putting forward.”

One thing is clear: the topic of inflation has dominated people’s everyday lives for many weeks. In various articles and comments, FOCUS Online repeatedly pointed out people’s concerns on the one hand and the deficits in the traffic light’s crisis policy on the other. For example, in a guest comment by Gabor Steingart on April 22, which says: “Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is obstinate to the point of denial of reality. Just as he repeatedly classified Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a “private-sector event”, he now refuses to recognize inflation as a top issue for citizens.” And FOCUS Online chief correspondent Ulrich Reitz commented after the SPD’s defeat in the elections in North Rhine-Westphalia: “Receipt for Scholz! In the Berlin bubble, Chancellor overlooks the expensive shock in the country.”

Civey surveys commissioned by FOCUS Online also show how much people are passionate about the topic and how little they feel picked up by the SPD chancellor. For example, at the end of April, 65 percent of those surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the Chancellor’s actions in view of the high inflation.

The misery of the people becomes clear through the fate of individuals. FOCUS Online users reported on the consequences of high inflation. One man even wrote: “I don’t dare to turn on hot water anymore”. And as part of the Pappelweg series from FOCUS Online, Andreas Hilbk from North Rhine-Westphalia weeks ago described his difficult situation and how he and his partner had to turn over every penny.