The Berlin CDU top candidate Kai Wegner in an interview with t-online: He wants to re-civilize Berlin teachers as soon as possible. (Source: V. Saizew)
In order to achieve its climate goals, Berlin needs a traffic turnaround. An incentive to switch to public transport would have been the 365-euro ticket, which was not included in the Senate’s climate protection package. The Berlin CDU is in favor of such a ticket. So with you there would be ticket discounts?
We would like to offer Berliners a 365-euro ticket. But we are against a compulsory ticket, as the Greens have recently been calling for. We need even better local public transport, which has to be expanded much further, especially in the growing outskirts.
When it comes to traffic planning, we can not only think up to the city limits, but also have to include Brandenburg. A lot of living space is being created here. It is important to create large “Park & Ride” facilities in front of the city limits and to enable a switch to public transport. If we succeed in better networking Berlin and Brandenburg – also in terms of mobility – the region can develop an economic power that is second to none.
In your election program you make the mobility promise that all Berliners should be able to reach the Bahnhof Zoo or Alexanderplatz from any stop by public transport in a maximum of 30 minutes. Sounds ambitious. Can this be implemented in the coming legislative period?
Yes, to do this you have to increase the cycle times and you would have to put more trains on the rails. Shorter waiting times and less crowded means of transport could also further increase the attractiveness of public transport.
What are the first projects that you would tackle in the area of mobility after the election?
Clearly the strengthening and increasing of the range of public transport, because these projects will take some time. We have to start making public transport so attractive, safe and of high quality that people voluntarily leave their cars behind. In addition, a safe, sustainable network of cycle routes must finally be laid across the city.
On the subject of mobility, I would finally end the confrontational course of the red-red-green Senate, which we are also seeing, for example, in housing policy. In our city there is currently a climate in which everyone is played off against each other. Landlords versus tenants, motorists versus cyclists or suburbs versus the city center. Red-red-green divides, I want to connect. Because Berlin can only stay strong if the Berliners stand together and we develop pragmatic solutions that work for everyone.
Berlin is internationally known for its diversity and cosmopolitanism. Reports of anti-Semitic incidents, for example at pro-Palestine demos, but also on the street and cases of racism among the Berlin police, tarnish this picture. Does the capital have a problem with racism and anti-Semitism?
Berlin has many problems in the area of internal security. We have a strong left-wing extremist scene, for example on Rigaer Strasse. Police officers tell me that there is no question of whether they will be attacked, only when. That is totally unacceptable. On the other hand, we have strong clan structures in the city. There are not only the Arab clans, about which people talk a lot here, but also other organized crime, for example from the Russian area or in the rocker milieu, but also in right-wing extremism, which unfortunately we also have here in Berlin.
In political debates, I sometimes have the feeling that there is a good and a bad extremism. But that’s not true. Extremism always harms us. Anyone who fights our free democratic basic order or wants to achieve political goals by force does not deserve tolerance, but an unequivocal response from the rule of law.
I am particularly affected by attacks and threats against rabbis or Jewish life in Berlin in general. If children are insulted as “You Jude” again in schoolyards, if Jewish parents send their children to private schools for safety reasons, or if in certain parts of the city they are afraid of wearing a kippah, this is completely unacceptable.
How can extremism be better combated in Berlin?
Berlin is an international, cosmopolitan, liberal metropolis, meanwhile also of world class. That is what defines Berlin and it is precisely for this diversity that I love the city. To do this, we must be able to rely on a functioning constitutional state.
We need more dropout programs through which we can win people back to the free democratic basic order. Much more preventive measures have to be taken so that young people do not drift into such areas in the first place. And of course we also have to strengthen the police – in terms of personnel, equipment and their legal options.
And how must extremism be dealt with in the police? Corresponding incidents also occur here. The interior administration even commissioned the TU Berlin to work out a study on possible racism and discrimination in the Berlin police.
I trust the Berlin police. We have no structural problem with right-wing extremism there. As in all other areas of society, misconduct occurs with the police in individual cases and it is undisputed that action must be taken consistently.
The police officers have sworn an oath on the constitution and anyone who moves in the right-wing extremist milieu cannot continue this service. To pillory the entire Berlin police now, to generalize inadmissibly, as happens in some political debates, is wrong. We are doing their wrong by doing this.
The search for possible coalition partners could prove difficult for the CDU. You have referred to the AfD as your “enemy”. So any form of collaboration is ruled out?
With me there will be neither a coalition nor agreements or anything like that with the AfD. Clearly. The AfD wants to fight everything that I love Berlin for and what Berlin stands for.
Does that also apply to the left?
Yes, but for other reasons. Even 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I have not yet made a clear commitment to apologize to the victims of the GDR. From individuals, yes, but not from the entire party, which despite having been renamed several times, is still the successor to the SED.
In addition, the Left Party and CDU simply do not fit together in terms of content. I firmly believe in the social market economy, the Left Party wants to expropriate and nationalize. That is why Herr Lederer and I have at least one thing in common: We do not want to form a coalition.
Thank you for the interview!
On September 26, the Berliners elect not only the German Bundestag, but also the Berlin House of Representatives and the district assemblies. For an overview of the positions and goals of the Berlin parties, t-online conducted interviews with the respective top candidates for the House of Representatives election. You can find another conversation every Sunday on t-online. The interview with the Berlin FDP top candidate Sebastian Czaja will follow on August 15.