Merz visits the mountain rescue service in Winterberg
Image: Daniel Pilar

Friedrich Merz has changed his rhetoric. With this he wants to show: I am capable of becoming chancellor. He also decides on one question – he wants to clarify the question of who will run for the Union in the federal election after the state elections in the fall.

FRiedrich Merz sits in the mountain rescue service. A room of perhaps 40 square meters with light wood furniture. On the tables there are plates with freshly filled roll halves, on a coffee cup you can see the face of a bearded old man with a felt hat, underneath it says “Alpenmax – original Jagatee”. The drink is an Austrian specialty. But Austria and the Alps are hundreds of kilometers away. Instead, the Ruhr rises just a few minutes away by car.

It's Saturday morning, nine o'clock, and the CDU chairman is listening to the men from the mountain rescue team tell him how they help skiers who have had accidents. Because Merz has a ski resort in his constituency in Hochsauerland. The man who belongs to the small circle of politicians who have a chance of becoming the next Chancellor must, like every member of the Bundestag, care about the region in which he lives and through which he is elected. The ski area in Winterberg is less than 1000 meters high, but offers 27 kilometers of connected slopes.

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