NewsNight flight row: Scholz and Baerbock spark controversy at Frankfurt

Night flight row: Scholz and Baerbock spark controversy at Frankfurt

Scandal in Germany.
Scandal in Germany.
Images source: © Instagram, WELT TV

3 July 2024 14:19

At Frankfurt Airport, night flights are strictly banned between 22:00 and 04:00. Nevertheless, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock left the city by air at night after the match between Germany and Switzerland, using an "exceptional permission." This decision is controversial, especially since the Greens, to which Baerbock belongs, strongly support the ban on night flights.

Since 2011, Frankfurt Airport has adhered to the ban on night-time aviation operations. Exceptions are only possible in delays, rescue missions, or flights of "public interest," such as government flights. The aviation authority under the Ministry of Transport and Economy of Hesse issues permits for such flights.

Despite the ban, Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock left Frankfurt on 23 June 2024 after the match between Germany and Switzerland, taking off at 22:39 and 22:54 - writes the daily "Die Welt". The ministry justified the exceptional permissions for the mentioned flights, emphasising their public character. According to reports, Baerbock's flight was necessary due to a morning meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

This situation is controversial because the Greens in Hesse are strong proponents of the night flight ban. Stefan Naas of the FDP criticised the actions of the Greens and Baerbock, calling them hypocritical.

This shows how seriously the Greens take their own rules. They criticise flying, and then they break the night flight ban to fly 114 miles to Luxembourg. Really? - said Stefan Naas.

Germany. Annalena Baerbock under fire

FDP's Vice-President and Vice President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Kubicki, also expressed his dissatisfaction. He believes that Baerbock should have focused on her duties in Luxembourg instead of attending the match. He also added that he is irritated by Baerbock's statement that she needs a well-paid makeup artist during trips to not look like an "undertaker."

Kubicki emphasised that it is difficult for him to remain neutral towards the foreign minister, especially considering the expenses on hairstyles and makeup amounting to £116,000. He believes such expenses are unjustified and highlights unnecessary luxury, which is not essential for performing public duties.

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