The ruling coalition is now facing another internal problem, following the revelation late last night that the son of Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) often flies with her on government planes and helicopters – and not just on business trips.
According to Business Insider, Mrs. Lambrecht traveled during the Easter holidays, while the war was raging in Ukraine, in Zilt, a cosmopolitan island in the North Sea. She was accompanied by her son, Alexander Lambrecht, 21, in a government Cougar helicopter, who even uploaded photos from the trip to his Instagram account.
The regulations provide that government funds are available exclusively to the federal president, the chancellor, the ministers, the presidents of the upper and lower houses of parliament and a few other officials, while individuals are allowed to travel with them free of charge only if they participate in the official’s official mission. , such as e.g. the first lady, the wife of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
As it turned out, however, mainly from his own posts on social networking sites, Alexander Lambrecht was not the first time he had traveled abroad with his mother in this way. On 14 and 15 August 2020, when Christine Lambrecht was Minister of Justice, he went to Helsinki as part of the Finnish EU Presidency, and on 7 June 2021 he posted photos from his mother’s visit to Luxembourg. In many photos it is even depicted inside the government aircraft.
The Ministry of Defense rejected the criticism caused by the revelations, noting that the expenses of Alexander Lambrecht’s’s departure were covered privately, as provided, while the expenses of the minister’s personal security for the stay in Zilt were also covered. The flight, a ministry spokesman explained, took off from Berlin on April 13 for the Landelund camp in Schleswig-Holstein, very close to the North Sea and Zilt. Shortly afterwards, the minister and her son continued on to the secular island.
The Ministry of Defense did not specify, however, although it was asked how much the flight cost.
In similar cases, the Lufthansa’s financial position invoice is used. But because there is no Berlin-Landelund-Zilt air link, according to Spiegel magazine, the price was estimated at around a few hundred euros. However, the flight with this helicopter costs 5,300 euros per hour, reveals the Berliner Zeitung.
Christine Lambrecht had provoked similar comments last Christmas, when, a few days after taking office, she canceled scheduled information visits to camps in order to go on vacation. And these holidays were made public on social media.
He was also recently criticized by some tabloids for preferring to wear high heels during a visit to Mali, although the entire mission had received instructions for firm shoes.
The minister has been in the spotlight of the opposition and the German media for weeks, due to the attitude of the German government regarding the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine.
“The choice of the time of the ministerial vacation in Zilt in the midst of the crisis in Ukraine was marginal. “With her son now bragging on Instagram that he flew in the government helicopter, we have reached the bottom,” said Christian Social Union (CSU) ombudsman Reinhard Bradl, while the head of the Bundestag’s defense committee, Marie Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) asked for clarification of the conditions. “I do not know the details, but it was probably not really right,” he said, adding that Ms Lambrecht should inform the chancellor and the cabinet. “If this is the case then maybe it’s an unusual thing to do, but it’s important that we deal with such issues sensitively,” she said.