German Greens’ candidate defends herself against plagiarism claim

Annalena Baerbock, the German Greens' faltering candidate for chancellor, has defended herself against claims she had plagiarised the work of others in a book published last month.

German Greens' candidate defends herself against plagiarism claim
Greens' candidate Annalena Baerbock. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

Baerbock, who earlier appeared to be in position to succeed Angela Merkel as the German leader, has suffered several setbacks and now trails the conservative party in opinion polls ahead of a general election in September.

Most recently, she was accused by Stefan Weber, an Austrian who tracks plagiarism, of having copied several passages in her book “Jetzt” (Now).

Weber highlighted half a dozen parts he says were copied from institutional websites or from the influential centre-left German weekly Der Spiegel.

“Many ideas from other people were integrated” in the book, Baerbock told Brigitte, a top German magazine for women, in comments published on its website on Thursday. 

“I did not write a specialised work or something like that, I wrote what I want to do with this country, and also described the world as it is, with
facts and realities.”


The 40-year-old Green leader noted that since she was designated in April as its candidate for chancellor, she had become the target of a “fake news” campaign.

She was accused for example of wanting to “get rid of dogs” to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and of having posed naked when she was younger.

But the latest charge represents another hurdle in the wake of “errors” that Baerbock has already acknowledged, notably her failure to declare to
parliament a bonus she had received from the party, and inaccuracies on her CV that have since been corrected.

A survey by the Insa institute that was published Thursday by the popular tabloid Bild found that 58 percent of those questioned felt she was “not
worthy of trust”.

Meanwhile, the Greens have slipped from frontrunners in the September 26th election to second place behind the conservative CDU-CSU alliance, with 20 percent and 28 percent respectively, according to ARD, a public television channel.

Merkel herself is not seeking another term and is to step down after 16 years as head of Europe’s leading economic power.

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Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

Germany will reinstate its so-called debt brake in 2023 after suspending it for three years to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, sources in the finance ministry said Wednesday.

Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The government will borrow 17.2 billion euros ($18.1 million) next year, adhering to the rule enshrined in the constitution that normally limits

Germany’s public deficit to 0.35 percent of overall annual economic output, despite new spending as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the sources said.

The new borrowing set out in a draft budget to be presented to the cabinet on Friday is almost 10 billion euros higher than a previous figure for 2023 announced in April.

However, “despite a considerable increase in costs, the debt brake will be respected,” one of the sources said.

Although Germany is traditionally a frugal nation, the government broke its own debt rules at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and unleashed vast financial aid to steer the economy through the crisis.

READ ALSO: Debt-averse Germany to take on new borrowings to soften pandemic blow

The government has this year unveiled a multi-billion-euro support package to help companies in Europe’s biggest economy weather the fallout from the Ukraine war and sanctions against Russia.

Berlin has also spent billions to diversify its energy supply to reduce its dependence on Russia, as well as investing heavily in plans to tackle climate change and push digital technology.

But despite the additional spending, Finance Minister Christian Lindner has maintained the aim to reinstate the debt brake in 2023.