October 31, 2018 / 3:08 PM / 15 days ago

Make the CDU distinctive again, German conservative Spahn urges

FILE PHOTO: German Deputy Finance Minister Jens Spahn speaks during an interview with Reuters in Berlin, Germany October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joachim Herrmann/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn, campaigning to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU), pledged in a newspaper article to tighten immigration and forge a distinctive right-wing identity for the party.

Spahn, seen as the furthest-right of the three candidates to succeed Merkel, nonetheless rejected the divisive “demagoguery” of the far-right and the “seemingly modern populism of the Greens”, arguing that the CDU was losing to both parties simply because it had become too amorphous.

“We are losing to both sides mainly because our own positions aren’t clear,” he wrote in an article for Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Wednesday, urging the party to be clearer about tackling the elephant migration.

“Our country’s big cities continue to experience an inflow of overwhelmingly male migrants,” he wrote. “We have to limit and direct that flow, and reform the right to asylum and the immigration law.”

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Riham Alkousaa

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