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Merkel made her last speech before the Bundestag

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on Tuesday at a plenary session of the Bundestag, the last before the approaching parliamentary elections. The meeting is being broadcast by local TV channels.

Merkel's speech lasted 14 minutes. The chancellor talked about the fight against climate change, the development of green energy, counter-terrorism, and cybercrime. The head of government took the opportunity to once again urge citizens to be vaccinated against coronavirus. At the end of the speech, she raised the topic of domestic politics, which caused discontent of the opposition.

Merkel supported Christian Democratic and Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) candidate Armin Laschet and was therefore forced to respond to outcries of disapproval from MPs.

"It is by no means all the same who will be in the next government. Either it will be a government with the Social Democrats and the Greens, which takes into account the support of the left, or at least does not exclude this development," said the chancellor.

After being interrupted by disapproving shouts from the side where the Left Party faction is located, Merkel replied, "I'm just telling the truth."

"Either there can be a CDU/CSU in government with Armin Laschet, who on moderate and centrist positions will lead us into the future," the chancellor continued, returning to her speech.

She was interrupted a second time and then responded with a more emotional note: "I have been a member of the Bundestag for 30 years now, and I don't know where else to discuss this than here, in the heart of our democracy.

One possible future government coalition would be the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, and the Left. Merkel has already said that she personally would be unequivocally against the participation of the left. She criticizes the other parties for not saying so openly, in her view. In general, both the SPD and the Greens have said that a number of the left's demands are unacceptable to them. These include withdrawal from NATO and an immediate end to all military operations.

Laschet is the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest state by population. In mid-July, there was a major flood there, since then the ratings of Laschet as well as of the CDU/CSU political bloc. According to polls, 20 percent of the population is willing to vote for them, and 25 percent for the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). If that gap persists until the elections on September 26, Olaf Scholz of the SPD will be elected chancellor.

About the elections

Parliamentary elections will be held in Germany on September 26. According to the constitution, the new Bundestag will meet within 30 days of the vote. The term of office of the chancellor ends with the first meeting of the new legislature, but only formally. The outgoing chancellor officially becomes acting chancellor, but in fact, retains all powers. This means that in theory, Merkel can still make an address to the deputies of the next convocation.

The new chancellor takes office after receiving her credentials from the president. This happens after the parties have concluded coalition talks. Four years ago, such negotiations took 172 days, which was a record.

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