“I have never experienced such a process under the Merkel Chancellery in 16 years,” Florian Hahn (CSU) told t-online. He is the Union’s rapporteur for the Defense Committee. “Obviously there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with your own Chancellor at the red light.”
According to information from the AFP news agency, Faber’s action was not coordinated within the FDP parliamentary group. Moreover in the parliamentary group, it was said to AFP that the appearance of the Chancellor was “correct for the first round”. The chair of the Defense Committee, FDP MP Marie-Agnès Strack-Zimmermann, disagreed with Faber’s decision, she remained in the meeting.
“Not intended as a note of protest”
After that, Faber tried to smooth things over: “We left after the official meeting time.” Chancellor Scholz was still in the room, “but we didn’t mean that as a note of protest”.
He then issued a statement on Friday afternoon in which he thanked Chancellor Scholz for the “constructive committee”. “Because of the follow-up appointments, my band members had to phase out of the committee meeting,” Faber continued. “I am very sorry that a different impression was created, which I hereby resolutely reject.”
Faber announces his resignation
In the FDP, however, discontent was apparently still high: a journalist from the news portal “The Pioneer” reported that there was a “giant vortex” in the FDP. The office of the parliamentary group was convened at short notice and all appointments were canceled internally.
Hours later, Faber admitted on Twitter that the comment about Scholz’s behavior was “inappropriate and did not do justice to the seriousness of the situation.” He will then propose at the next meeting of the parliamentary group to resign from his post as spokesperson for defense policy.
Set session to “secret”? Scholz refuses
According to information from t-online, the FDP spokesman had previously proposed to the defense committee to classify the meeting as “secret” so that questions could actually be answered. Scholz did not respond to this offer. The Defense Committee always meets behind closed doors. If the session is classified as “secret”, what is said there must not leak.
The chancellor was to report to the committee on Friday on arms supplies to Ukraine and the political orientation of the federal government. The FDP’s defense expert, Marie-Agnès Strack-Zimmermann, had invited him there – at the height of the dispute over the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine.
Strack-Zimmermann denounces “misunderstandings” within the federal government
Shortly before Scholz appeared on the commission, the FDP had called for the appointment of a coordinator for arms deliveries to Ukraine. “There has to be someone who does it,” Strack-Zimmermann said before the game. There are currently “a lot of misunderstandings” within the federal government on the subject. “There, I think, one or the other can be made a bit more flexible so that the weapons can also be delivered very quickly.”
Two days after the start of the war, the German government decided to supply Ukraine with weapons to fight against the Russian attackers. In the meantime, it also authorizes the supply of heavy weapons. So far, he has given the go-ahead for 50 decommissioned Gepard anti-aircraft tanks and seven 2000 self-propelled howitzers – heavy artillery pieces from Bundeswehr stocks.
However, the federal government has received other demands from industry that have not been resolved for weeks. Rheinmetall offered to supply 88 used but refurbished Leopard 1 main battle tanks and 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles.