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Germany: Cohn-Bendit pleads for Habeck as candidate for chancellor

Former European politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit has spoken out in favor of Robert Habeck as candidate for chancellor.

Berlin - Habeck's understanding of political power is linked to the willingness to question one's own positions again and again, writes Cohn-Bendit together with the political scientist Claus Leggewie in Die Zeit. That includes the attempt to always make one's own policy plausible to the opponents. "That's why we consider him the better candidate for Chancellor of the Greens."

Cohn-Bendit and Leggewie also trust Annalena Baerbock, who is co-chair of the Greens with Habeck, to win an election in September and move into the Chancellery and refer to the great image that the female top has. But in view of the "three Herculean tasks of an ecological transformation, north-south justice and the creation of global security", an understanding of power is more important than ever, as Habeck explained in his book Von hier an anders (Different from here on) . Such an understanding always takes into account the effects and side effects of political decisions.

A green government, according to Cohn-Bendit and Leggewie, must always take into account where a "basically correct policy (climate protection, admission of refugees, renunciation of military force) could unwantedly deepen the social division" and that could bring this policy to failure in the end.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit and pedophilia
Cohn-Bendit has been accused of defending pedophilia, as he published a number of provocative statements regarding sex with children in the 1970s and early 1980s.

His 1975 book The Great Bazaar (Der grosse Basar) where he describes sexual contact with five-year-olds in his time as a teacher in an anti-authoritarian kindergarten (kinderladen). These were reiterated one year later in articles for the cultural-political magazine das da.

This controversy re-surfaced in 2013: as Cohn-Bendit received the Theodor Heuss Prize, there was a rally by child-protection activists. The president of Germany's Federal Constitutional Court cited the book as grounds for his refusal to give the speech at the awards ceremony. The affair triggered wider research into the pro-pedophilia activism which prevailed in the German Green Party (without direct involvement on the part of Cohn-Bendit) well into the 1980s.

An article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung uncovered several "repulsive" passages (abstoßende Texte) in Pflasterstrand, a leftist magazine for which Cohn-Bendit was, under press law, responsible. It cited a 1978 defense of Cohn-Bendit's of this editorial practice, as well as an appearance of Cohn-Bendit in a French television talk-show in 1982 where he described a five-year-old girl undressing him as an "eroticomaniac game". Cohn-Bendit reacted to these allegations by claiming that his descriptions of sexual contact with pre-pubescent girls were not based on true events but were merely intended as what he today calls "obnoxious provocation" aimed at questioning sexual morals at the time that "shouldn't have been written that way."

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