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In Germany, floods are a part of the European election marketing campaign

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz traveling to a disaster-stricken town in northern Bavaria on June 3, 2024.

While it had occupied a central place in 2019, the local weather difficulty was, this 12 months, one of many main absences from the marketing campaign for the European elections in Germany. One week earlier than the election, she invited herself there due to the floods which have affected the south of the nation since this weekend and have already prompted the loss of life of 4 individuals.

Olaf Scholz himself introduced the topic to the desk. Visiting Reichertshofen, a city in northern Bavaria positioned in a very catastrophe space, on Monday, the Social Democratic Chancellor (SPD) didn’t simply present his “solidarity” and to vow ” ugly ” of the federal state. “This is the fourth time this year that I have been to flooded territory. It is a reminder of what is at work. We must not neglect our duty to stop human-caused climate change”did he declare.

On Sunday, from the identical city, the environmentalist vice-chancellor Robert Habeck, minister of the economic system and local weather safety, gave the identical speech. The frequency of pure disasters is “a clear indicator of climate change”, he stated. Evoking “so-called centennial floods [qui] now occur every two years »the former president of the Greens (2018-2022) recalled that “limiting CO emissions2 should not be relegated to the background but constitutes an absolute priority”.

Overview of a disaster area after flooding, in Gotteshofen near Ingolstadt, June 2, 2024.

That MM. Scholz and Habeck rapidly went there isn’t a surprise. In Germany, everybody is aware of that floods can have an effect on election outcomes. In August 2002, 5 weeks earlier than the legislative elections, the outgoing chancellor, Gerhard Schröder (SPD), took a decisive benefit over his conservative rival Edmund Stoiber (CSU) within the aftermath of the devastating flood of the Elbe, within the east of the nation. After coming in a short time to fulfill the victims, carrying rubber boots, then having determined to postpone for a 12 months his plan for tax cuts to assist the affected areas, Gerhard Schröder noticed his reputation soar. On September 22, 2002, he gained the elections. Five weeks earlier, nonetheless, he had been overwhelmed.

In July 2021, the horrible floods that hit western Germany, killing 180 individuals, additionally had political penalties. Two months earlier than the legislative elections, the picture of the Christian Democratic candidate for the chancellery, Armin Laschet (CDU), shocked hilariously throughout a go to to a disaster-stricken city, had actually weighed down his marketing campaign. Conversely, his opponent Mr. Scholz had skillfully taken benefit of his place as finance minister to vow the help of the federal authorities. Two months later, he gained the elections.

Just a few days earlier than the European elections, it’s inconceivable to evaluate the affect of the present floods on the result of the election. But it’s unlikely that they are going to considerably transfer the strains. In phrases of the combat towards international warming, Mr. Scholz like Mr. Habeck certainly have a credibility drawback, as recalled in a report revealed Monday by a panel of consultants, estimating that their authorities's forecasts by way of greenhouse gasoline emissions have been unrealistic. In this context, a final minute rebound for his or her respective events appears fairly unlikely. In the most recent polls, carried out earlier than the floods, the SPD and the Greens are neck and neck, round 14% of voting intentions, far behind the conservatives of the CDU/CSU (29-30%) and barely virtually on the similar degree because the far-right AfD occasion (15-16%).

Thomas Wieder (Berlin, correspondent)