Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politicians went on the defensive Wednesday after a popular YouTuber published a 55-minute video criticizing the party.
In what he called a “destruction video,” German YouTuber “Rezo” slammed the CDU for failing to tackle critical issues, saying they have shown “gross incompetence” on climate change, security, intellectual property rights and narcotics policy, among other areas.
He said the government, which includes the Social Democrats, was “destroying our lives and our future.” Rezo said he spent weeks researching the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU). The video, which included statistics on Germany’s wealth and gender gaps as well as foreign policy, has been seen nearly 4 million times since going online on Saturday.
“You say that young people should be political, then you have to handle it when they think your politics are shit,” Rezo said.
But party officials hit back. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader, accused him of spouting nonsense, saying, “I asked myself why we weren’t for that matter responsible for the seven plagues in ancient Egypt.”
“He is using his right to freedom of expression,” said CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak, who accused Rezo of propagating false claims about the party. “But that isn’t journalism.”
‘Too much about refugees’
However, not all CDU politicians were critical of Rezo. German lawmaker Thomas Jarzombek said the debate surrounding the video showed the party has “talked too much about refugees in recent years and too little about climate protection.”
Tiemo Wölken, a Social Democrat in the European Parliament and fellow YouTuber, said it is “silly” to rebuke Rezo for the video.
“I am grateful for the debate spurred on by Rezo’s video,” Wölken said.
Rezo published the video days before EU citizens take part in critical elections for the next European Parliament. In the video, he called on voters to take to the polls, but warned against voting for far-right parties, such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD).