German economic pressure group defends mockery of Green leader
BERLIN (Reuters) – A German business lobby group on Tuesday defended a controversial campaign in which it portrayed the Greens’ candidate for chancellor Annalena Baerbock disguised as a biblical Moses, holding two tablets under the caption ‘Annalena and the 10 bans’ .
In its campaign, the INSM pressure group is attacking Green policies aimed at bringing Germans into electric cars and trains instead of domestic flights. But his portrayal of Baerbock as Moses has met with criticism and accusations of anti-Semitism.
The Greens, who aimed to win the chancellery for the first time in the federal election on September 26, edged out Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in the polls at the end of April after choosing Baerbock as their chancellor candidate.
Baerbock has since faced repeated attacks online, including a photo showing her supposedly naked that flooded social media. The photo was actually of a Russian glamor model.
The June 10 campaign message on the INSM website carries the banner “Why we don’t need a state religion” and continues: “Green bans don’t get us to the promised land “.
INSM, which is financially supported by the metal and electrical industry, has maintained the post on its website despite criticism from the German media over its portrayal of Baerbock, a 40-year-old former London School of Economics student. and mother of two children.
“The strongest charge is that we are serving anti-Semitic conspiracy myths with the motive of representing Moses. We strongly reject this, ”said the INSM in a statement published Tuesday on its website.
“If we have hurt personal or religious feelings with the advertising, we regret it and assure you that it was by no means intentional,” he added. “The INSM will continue to defend the social market economy in a decisive and clear manner.
At a weekend conference to adopt the Greens’ election manifesto, Baerbock said the party would seek to support German industry in reducing carbon emissions by ensuring the state helps cover all additional costs incurred by companies.
Baerbock lost his thread at one point during a speech at the conference and, leaving the stage, muttered profanity while his microphone was still live.
The fall followed what Green leaders admitted to have been a difficult few weeks, marked by a regional electoral setback, a bonus payment scandal and a controversial suggestion that Germany should arm Ukraine.
An INSA poll released on Monday showed support for the Greens slipping to 19.5%, behind Merkel’s conservative alliance at 27.5%. Merkel is not seeking re-election in September.
Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Alexandra Hudson