Resignation of Anne Spiegel: Annalena Baerbock comments

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Of: Tobias Utz and Katja Thorwarth


Shortly after the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley, then Environment Minister Spiegel went on vacation to France. She now draws conclusions.

+++ 5:45 p.m.: Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was moved by the resignation of Family Minister Anne Spiegel. “She went through an extremely difficult time, personally incredibly difficult,” the environmentalist politician said on Monday afternoon on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Luxembourg. “Today is not only a political milestone, but also a personal milestone for you, which I think clearly shows how brutal politics can be.”

“It’s a reminder for all of us in politics,” Baerbock said, also watching Spiegel’s press conference, with which the minister tried to avoid resignation on Sunday.

Annalena Baerbock at the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. © Olivier Matthys/AP/dpa

+++ 2:45 p.m.: Anne Spiegel resigns as Federal Minister for Family Affairs. She announced it on Monday afternoon. She had “decided under political pressure to make the office of the Federal Minister for the Family available,” Spiegel said in Berlin on Monday. She does this “to avoid damage to the office, which faces major political challenges”. On Sunday evening, the Greens politician explained her absence with her husband’s illness – but did not speak of a withdrawal (see first report).

+++ 12:45 p.m.: Family Minister Anne Spiegel apparently hid from her own party that she went on a four-week holiday to France shortly after the Ahr Valley flood disaster. This is reported by the news portal Zeit Online. According to the report, Spiegel’s silence refers to a crisis meeting of the Greens in Rhineland-Palatinate. During the interview, the question was notably asked whether his case was comparable to that of the resigning minister Ursula Heinen-Esser. Heinen-Esser quit after his holiday in Mallorca became known shortly after the flood disaster a few days ago.

Anne Spiegel
Minister for the Family Anne Spiegel. © Annette Riedl/dpa

Since then-Environment Minister Spiegel, according to the report, concealed his vacation, the Rhineland-Palatinate party leadership did not feel compelled to act.

Anne Spiegel is on vacation during the Ahr Valley flood disaster: Minister emotionally apologizes

Update for Monday, April 11, 2022, 7:30 a.m.: Federal Family Minister Anne Spiegel (Greens) described her four-week family holiday after last summer’s flood disaster as a mistake and apologized for it. She justified her decision at the time as Minister of Family and Environment of Rhineland-Palatinate in a memorable appearance before journalists on Sunday evening, among other things, with the health of her husband, victim of a cerebral vascular accident. Her family needed a vacation “because my husband couldn’t take it anymore,” said the 41-year-old, who looked visibly battered and whose voice repeatedly weakened during the performance. “It was a mistake that we went on holiday for so long and I apologize for that mistake.”

As further justification, the minister said Corona had been “an insane challenge” for her family. The pandemic had “clearly left its mark” on her four children of daycare and primary school age.

Family Minister Anne Spiegel: Vacation despite floods in the Ahrntal Valley

Spiegel did not comment on the opposition’s demands to resign. She refused to answer questions. His party, the Greens, initially made no comment on Sunday evening when asked. On Monday, the party’s federal executive committee will meet in Husum, Schleswig-Holstein, for a closed-door conference. Bild reported that there was a crisis meeting with Green ministers Robert Habeck, Annalena Baerbock and party and parliamentary group leaders on Sunday. Spiegel was suggested to quit, but she asked for another chance, Blatt reported. The Greens did not initially comment on the report.

However, the Minister for the Family had to rectify information that she had given to the “Bild am Sonntag” on Saturday. Contrary to what was initially announced, she did not join the council of ministers of her vacation. Meetings were on their calendar. However, a review of cabinet minutes revealed on Sunday that she did not participate.

Flood disaster in the Ahr Valley: Minister Spiegel went on summer vacation for four weeks

First report, April 10, 2022: Berlin – After the resignation of the Minister of the Environment of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ursula Heinen-Esser (CDU) due to vacation in Mallorca during the flood disaster, pressure on the Federal Minister for Family Anne Spiegel (Greens) increases. Just ten days after the devastating Ahr floods, the Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of the Environment traveled to France for a four-week vacation with her family*, as the photo learned on Sunday at the Ministry of l ‘Environment in Mainz. The demands for resignation come from the opposition.

Spiegel therefore only interrupted his vacation for two appointments on site on August 10. She inquired in Dümpelfeld about the repair of the sewage treatment plant, in the Ahr Valley, she looked at how far the helpers had gone with the cleaning work. Then it was back to the vacation home in France – for the second half of the vacation. According to the ministry, the vacation ended on August 23. In defense of the long-term vacation, the Environment Ministry pointed out that Spiegel could have been reached by phone and email “24 hours a day”.

Flood disaster in the Ahr Valley: “The Spiegel is unacceptable”

Spiegel had previously faced criticism for worrying about her reputation immediately after the night of the flood. On July 15, her spokesperson wrote to the minister and other employees: “Anne needs a credible role. It looks like political manipulation.” The minister replied to her spokesperson: “It coincides with my thinking.” (ktho/tu with dpa/AFP) * is an offer of IPPEN.MEDIA.

After school in the voluntary service of the Ahr valley*: it is now possible in Rhineland-Palatinate. The project should also attract more people to the profession.

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