Germany’s defense chief to resign amid PR disaster: Reports – POLITICO

Germany’s defense chief to resign amid PR disaster: Reports – POLITICO

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht may step down as soon as next week, according to reports in several German media outlets, following a series of blunders affecting her credibility.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Lambrecht’s leadership style has come under fire, especially for failing to implement an increase in military spending pledged by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and despite the creation of a €100 billion investment fund for the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces. POLITICO reported last month that criticism was mounting amid revelations that Germany’s bold promise to invest “from now on, year after year” at least 2 percent of its economic output in defense had been put on hold, making the country laggards in the NATO military alliance.

Now Berlin is confronted with the dilemma of whether to send battle tanks to Ukraine. Lambrecht is in the middle of the debate about supplying the modern, Western-made tanks to Kyiv. 

An awkward video published on social media on New Year’s Eve was likely the tipping point for Germany’s defense minister, prompting even close allies in her party — the Social Democratic Party — to take distance. Standing against the backdrop of Berlin’s NYE fireworks, Lambrecht had mentioned the war was “linked with many special impressions” and “many many encounters with interesting, special people.”

A spokesperson for the German government on Friday evening called the reports “rumors,” according to the media reports.

Two names are now rumored as a potential successor, according to Bild and other German media: Eva Högl, the parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, and Siemtje Möller, the junior defence minister. Both of them are Social Democrats, like Lambrecht.

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