IIn the last German television duel before the European elections, the social democrat Frans Timmermans has spoken out in favor of the abolition of short-haul flights. However, there must be a substitute good rail links, the Dutchman said on Thursday evening on ZDF. His Christian Democrat opponent Manfred Weber commented more cautiously. He does not want to abolish short-haul flights by law, said the CSU politician. But he also pleaded for replacing them with "a good train".
The German Weber, vice-president of the CSU, and the Dutchman Timmermans, previously vice-president of the EU Commission, both compete for the succession of European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker. At first, however, they are struggling to make the strongest group with their party families in the next European Parliament. The European elections are from 23 to 26 May.
The two top candidates agreed to reject nuclear power. Weber called for uniform European safety standards for nuclear power plants. So far this is in the hands of national authorities. The future lies anyway in an independent European energy supply through renewable energies.
Timmermans said: "I have always admired Germany for the nuclear phase-out." Germany has shown the way. "I hope others will follow," said the Dutchman.