Saxony's MP Michael Kretschmer (47, CDU, front left) with his counterpart, Regional President Nicola Zingaretti (56, PD, center) and Minister of Culture Barbara Klepsch (56, CDU).  The two Saxons are wearing headphones because of the simultaneous translation.

1,383

Sachsen-MP Kretschmer is finally in Rome: Appointment marathon across the city

By Thomas Staudt

Rome/Dresden – Day two of Prime Minister’s Rome trip Michael Kretschmer (47, CDU). Perhaps the most exhausting day, certainly the saddest. The topics: economy, culture, town twinning – and sexual abuse in the church!

Saxony’s MP Michael Kretschmer (47, CDU, front left) with his counterpart, Regional President Nicola Zingaretti (56, PD, center) and Minister of Culture Barbara Klepsch (56, CDU). The two Saxons are wearing headphones because of the simultaneous translation. © Nikolai Schmidt

The travel chaos of the previous day is forgotten. The flight from Dresden was canceled at short notice on Wednesday evening. The State Chancellery had to rebook. Culture Minister Barbara Klepsch (56, CDU) even got stuck in Frankfurt and had to spend the night there.

As a reason, Lufthansa gave a failed radar system in the Czech Republic. “I still slept well,” said the MP, who only arrived in Rome after midnight, then on Thursday morning.

Is there an increase in “serious”? If so, the “serious” moment of the trip was this: In the early evening, Prime Minister and Bishop Heinrich Timmerevers spoke to Father Hans Zollner SJ of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Packaging tax: Palmer makes an appeal to the Federal Environment Minister
Boris Palmer
Packaging tax: Palmer makes an appeal to the Federal Environment Minister

Reason: 52 (known) cases of sexual abuse in the diocese of Dresden-Meissen since 1945. The diocese documents the cases on the website and is in the process of setting up a commission of experts. Kretschmer warned after the conversation: “Anyone who has been convicted of abuse can no longer be a trainer with us. That must also apply to the church.”

The MP in conversation with the German Ambassador Viktor Elbling (63, left).

The MP in conversation with the German Ambassador Viktor Elbling (63, left). © Nikolai Schmidt

Chic from the 40s, German embassy since 1957: the Villa Almone, named after the little river next door.

Chic from the 40s, German embassy since 1957: the Villa Almone, named after the little river next door. © Nikolai Schmidt

Michael Kretschmer: “Europe is only what people make of it”

Italy's regional minister Mariastella Gelmini (48) spoke to Kretschmer about topics such as digitization, monument preservation and even student exchanges.

Italy’s regional minister Mariastella Gelmini (48) spoke to Kretschmer about topics such as digitization, monument preservation and even student exchanges. © Nikolai Schmidt

Before that, they drove through Rome in a convoy with a police escort and flashing blue lights. The Capitol, the Colosseum… Sightseeing as you drive by.

Appointments followed in rapid succession with the German ambassador Viktor Elbling (63) and the Italian regional minister comfortably on the embassy terrace. Later in the Palazzo Copernico also with Regional President Nicola Zingaretti (56). It’s about cooperation in health, monument preservation, digitization, decarbonization and student exchange.

In Italy, some things are more pragmatic, says Kretschmer. Does Europe need regional partnerships?

Flight cancelled!  MP Kretschmer's papal journey cannot start
Michael Kretschmer
Flight cancelled! MP Kretschmer’s papal journey cannot start

Kretschmer: “Europe is only what people make of it. Russia’s attack on Europe shows us once again: It depends on us. We have to make Europe strong. Europe is our life insurance.”

Cover photo: Nikolai Schmidt and Robert Michael/dpa

More about Michael Kretschmer:

Leave a Reply