How did you celebrate your 60th birthday

Armin Laschet is turning 60: celebrate his birthday "quietly and quietly due to the pandemic"

How and with whom will you celebrate your 60th birthday?
Quiet and quiet due to the pandemic. I will probably work that day too. And I'm looking forward to a nice evening with my family.

How would you celebrate if there wasn't a pandemic?

We're a big family, my brothers and their families would definitely have come over for a party, and so would all the good friends. But that can also be made up for. In fact, the question of how I would like to celebrate my birthday has not even arisen. Before I could have thought about it, it was clear that the pandemic would not allow a celebration.

What do you miss most in lockdown?

Not just in lockdown, but during the entire period of the pandemic: the closeness to one another, hugs, the ease in personal interaction. I am fundamentally a person who likes to be close. I'm missing that. We may not be able to express our affection for the time through closeness in the physical or spatial sense, but we can express it through other signs, including time for essentials.

What does this number 60 mark for you on your resume?

Nothing at all. People who celebrated special birthdays before me always told me that the day after everything is as it was before. And I am also currently experiencing major, new and challenging tasks politically.

What does aging mean to you? Are you also a little afraid of it?

No, I don't think about it much. It is nice to have had a lot of experiences, and sometimes one becomes more relaxed with certain excitements. But on other days I can also let myself be inspired as when I was a student, with the same curiosity and enthusiasm.

When you look back, what has been really important so far?

Since I have never been seriously ill in my life, these days I especially recognize the value of health. And what really mattered were people I could rely on.

And in retrospect, what was actually not as important as you thought earlier?

I used to be influenced by opinion polls or comments and sometimes got annoyed about them. I now know how much polls fluctuate and that politics cannot be tailored to what moods are like.

What would you like to have achieved by the age of 70?

If, in the next ten years, I can help ensure that we become more modern after the pandemic, that we make progress with climate protection and digitization, that we still remain economically strong and that we stick together socially, then our 70th birthday will be a wonderful birthday.

How many real friends do you have left - or do you only have party friends?

I am fortunate to have many real friends who have nothing to do with politics, some of them since my youth and university days.

What can you laugh about?

Life is easier when you can laugh at yourself from time to time. And I notice in tense meetings that a lot becomes easier when you can laugh once in a while.

Did you have more laughs before you became prime minister and party leader?

No. The past year has given us little reason to laugh - but that is due to the pandemic. As Prime Minister, I make far-reaching decisions with my counterparts week after week that affect millions of people very directly and directly. Many people in the country are reaching their limits, are fighting for their existence and are losing loved ones. I am aware of the seriousness of this crisis every second. But I hope that there will be more time to laugh again in office after the pandemic.

Do I think of Germany at night ..?

... I sleep well anyway. I am happy to be able to live in such a great country and sometimes I think that we are not aware of how well we are all despite many problems.

dpa

To person: Armin Laschet has been federal chairman of the CDU since January 22nd. He has ruled the most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia since 2017. The Aachener is head of the currently only black-yellow coalition in Germany and also chairman of the NRW-CDU. The married father of three children, who is often politically underestimated in his own ranks, has ambitions for the candidacy for chancellor this year.