Already weakened by blunders, the German Defense Minister, Christine Lambrecht, was again criticized on Monday after the broadcast of her wishes, parasitized by fireworks and remarks deemed inappropriate on the war in Ukraine.
The video only lasts a minute, but was deemed so unsuccessful that the Social Democratic minister is again targeted by calls for the resignation of the conservative opposition and German media.
The minister appears there in the center of Berlin, disheveled by gusts of wind, evoking the war in Ukraine between two explosions of firecrackers and fireworks, particularly popular with the Germans to celebrate the new year.
“A war is raging in the middle of Europe. I was able to draw many particular impressions from it”, slips in addition the minister about the Russian invasion, evoking “many, many meetings with interesting and formidable people”. "For that, I say a big thank you."
“Doubts about his suitability for this position have been around for a long time. It is now time for the Chancellor to draw the consequences”, lambasted the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel on Monday.
"The New Year's speech recorded by mobile phone and barely comprehensible due to firework flares and the absence of a microphone on a Berlin sidewalk would already have been embarrassing for a volunteer village mayor - for a Minister of Defense of a member of NATO, it is quite simply shameful”, takes offense Bild, the most read daily of the country.
Pressed with questions during a regular press briefing, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense was content to affirm that it was a “private video”, produced without “official resource” and posted on his Instagram account.
The minister has accumulated disappointments in 2022, regularly attracting ridicule and criticism, such as when she announced the sending of thousands of helmets to Ukrainians who were instead expecting deliveries of heavy weapons from Germany.
Ms. Lambrecht also embodied, in the eyes of the Ukrainian regime, but also of the Germans, the shortcomings of an army whose equipment is outdated. In mid-December, Berlin thus had to suspend new orders for Puma armored vehicles after a series of breakdowns affecting armored vehicles already in use by the army.
The minister's greetings with New Year's Eve firecrackers in the background only "cap her series of embarrassments", denounces Serap Güler, in charge of defense issues within the CDU.
By maintaining his minister, Chancellor Olaf Scholz “Does he really care about the impact of Germany in Europe and in the world?”, Adds Armin Laschet, unsuccessful candidate in 2021 to succeed Angela Merkel.
For the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, the minister's repeated errors "constitute a huge mortgage" for an army supposed to modernize and recover strategic importance in times of war.