The Daily Telegraph

Gaffe-prone German armed forces minister to step down

- By Our Foreign Staff

CHRISTINE LAMBRECHT, Germany’s defence minister, was yesterday reported to be resigning her post, after coming under fire over a series of gaffes.

Ms Lambrecht, a member of chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), would step down as early as next week, German media reported.

The news comes as Mr Scholz is under pressure to approve an increase in military support for Kyiv to help it repel Russian forces from Ukraine.

Ms Lambrecht, 57, has been blamed for failing to get the country’s armed forces back in shape quickly despite a €100billion (£88 billion) special fund being agreed on for the Bundeswehr in the wake of Moscow’s invasion.

The long-running debate over the state of Germany’s defence capabiliti­es intensifie­d last month when several infantry tanks were put out of service during a recent military drill.

Ms Lambrecht said at the time that Germany would not purchase any more of the tanks until they had proven themselves to be reliable.

She was recently criticised by media and opposition figures for posting a video on social media in which she reflected on a year that ended with “war raging in the middle of Europe”.

To the backdrop of exploding fireworks during chaotic New Year’s celebratio­ns in Berlin, Ms Lambrecht said the war in Ukraine had led to “a lot of special experience­s” and the chance for “many encounters with great and interestin­g people”.

Leading German media blasted the tone-deaf message, with some commentato­rs saying she was “no longer tenable as a minister”.

Critics also questioned her ability to lead Europe’s biggest economy in reviving its long-neglected armed forces in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom