Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht wants to resign. “Bild” and “Süddeutsche Zeitung” learned this from several sources. She should have decided to do it herself, not the Chancellery. Her successor is already being discussed internally.
According to a newspaper report, Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) is said to be determined to resign from her post. The initiative came from her, writes the “Bild” newspaper (Saturday edition), citing “several people familiar with the processes”. Lambrecht wants to resign next week, confirmed sources in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Defense said on Friday evening when asked by the AFP news agency: “These are rumors that we do not comment on.”
According to “Bild”, the reason for the resignation is Lambrecht’s view that a fresh start is necessary in the Ministry of Defense. According to the report, the successor is already being discussed in government and SPD circles. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Eva Högl (SPD), would be given good chances. The defense policy spokesman for the Union faction, Florian Hahn, welcomed Lambrecht’s possible resignation as a “positive prospect” for the Bundeswehr. “I would have the greatest respect for such a step,” said the CSU politician to the newspapers of the Funke media group. “That would be a conciliatory conclusion and a positive outlook for our Bundeswehr.”
Lambrecht had recently been sharply criticized for a New Year’s message spread on Instagram, in which she spoke about the Ukraine war accompanied by New Year’s Eve fireworks. The coalition of CSU and CDU in the opposition then called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to immediately dismiss the defense minister. However, Scholz then assured her of his support, as did party leader Saskia Esken.
The majority of Germans have previously spoken out in favor of Lambrecht’s resignation. This emerges from the new ZDF “Politbarometer”, which was published on Friday. According to this, 60 percent of those surveyed were in favor of the minister resigning; 25 percent opposed it. Even within the SPD, 50 percent were in favor of resigning; 38 percent were in favor of staying in office.
A year before the general election, Lambrecht had announced that he would be retiring from politics and working as a lawyer again. However, when the good poll numbers for the SPD became apparent, she positioned herself again in Scholz’s closest circle. Because of his announcement of a parity cabinet, she became defense minister – and was quickly criticized. During her tenure, one breakdown follows the other.