Bavaria′s Söder calls for ban on combustion engines by 2035 | News | DW | 26.09.2020

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Bavaria's Söder calls for ban on combustion engines by 2035

Bavarian leader Markus Söder, head of the conservative Christian Social Union, told his party that combustion engines should be banned by 2035. He described climate change as one of the biggest problems in history.

Markus Söder, Bavarian state premier who is thought to be a dark horse in the race to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor, told his party at a virtual conference on Saturday that combustion engines should be banned by 2035.

The climate crisis is one of the biggest problems in history, and that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should not obscure its threat, according to the conservative politician. Söder serves as the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister-party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Nevertheless, Söder also came out in favor of offering an incentive premium for those buying modern gas- and diesel-fueled cars, as a temporary economic boost for the German auto industry.

Söder wants controversial flag banned

In a wide-ranging speech to hundreds of delegates attending the online conference, Söder also said he supported a ban on the Reich war flag in Bavaria.

The archaic imperial flag has recently been revived by anti-lockdown campaigners, far-right activists, and so-called Reichsbürger — conspiracy theorists who reject the authority of the Federal Republic of Germany. The city state of Bremen has recently banned the flag, and Söder said the flag indicated a clear rejection of democratic values.

The coronavirus pandemicnevertheless dominated Söder's speech. Bavaria was the first German state to call a state of emergency earlier this year as COVID-19 took hold, and Söder warned that the disease was "back with massive strength across Europe."

bk/dj (dpa, AP)

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