After the resignation of CSU General Secretary Mayer: Söder speaks of “human tragedy”

Resignation of the Secretary General
Söder calls the Mayer case a “human tragedy”

CSU General Secretary Mayer resigned after threatening a journalist. Prime Minister Söder denounces the obvious behavior and speaks of an “indisputable style”. Mayer, however, admits a dispute with the representative of the press, but also announces legal steps himself.

CSU boss Markus Söder has described the circumstances surrounding the resignation of CSU General Secretary Stephan Mayer as a “human tragedy”. At the same time, he criticized Mayer’s obvious choice of words in a conversation with a journalist as unacceptable: “The words that have been used are in no way acceptable, are completely inappropriate and also of an unacceptable style” , Söder told reporters in Munich.

CSU General Secretary Stephan Mayer

(Picture: picture alliance / SvenSimon)

He did not want to decide on a successor solution on Wednesday – but “quickly”. Mayer announced his resignation as general secretary on Tuesday evening after just over two months in the role. The 48-year-old cited health reasons in a written statement. At the same time, however, he admitted that, in retrospect, a “perhaps” inappropriate choice of words had been given to a “Bunte” reporter. The reporter had previously accused Mayer of threatening him over the phone while reporting on Mayer’s private life.

According to a letter from a lawyer to the CSU politician, Mayer allegedly said, “I will destroy you. I will find you, I will follow you until the end of your life.” And: “I request 200,000 euros in compensation for pain and suffering, you must transfer it to me today.”

Mayer: ‘I deny the specific allegations out of ignorance’

In response to a request from the German Press Agency, Mayer wrote, “I deny the specific allegations out of ignorance. If so, I in hindsight regard the choice of words as inappropriate.” Mayer admitted there was “a very emotional argument following the blatantly illegal reporting”. “For example, the reporter called me ‘crazy’ and ‘that they’ve called others before’.”

The ‘Bunte’ journalist’s lawyer responded to the dpa’s claim that his client did not call Mayer ‘crazy’, but rather Mayer’s demand for payment of 200,000 euros by his client on the same day . “The statement that ‘they had already dealt with others’ was never made by my client,” the attorney continued.

CSU General Secretary Mayer was “all self control got away”

Separately, his client notes that Mayer pleads “ignorance” about a phone call in which he himself was involved. Mayer cautiously doesn’t even try to justify the threats of annihilation and persecution, but downplays them as “emotional conflicts,” the attorney explained. It was “a one-sided tirade” from Mayer, in which he “obviously lost all self-control”.

Meanwhile, Söder also pointed out that Mayer had “expressly apologized in writing”. He complied with Mayer’s request to resign for health reasons, but not light-heartedly. “Actually, he’s not doing well,” Söder reported. It was a bitter day, he was “also personally very affected”. During a change in the CSU Presidium, Söder wanted to discuss the whole matter on Wednesday – but has yet to name a successor to Mayer. “But the successor will of course be decided quickly, because we want to be able to act quickly,” the party chairman said.

In the meantime, Mayer has announced legal steps: he intends “to bring an action for damages against the Burda publishing house because of the serious personality injury caused by the report”. The lawyer for the journalist and the publisher replied that the Burda publishing house, which publishes the “Bunte”, rejects the claims in their entirety. The report was legal and journalistically clean.

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