After leaving the party and announcing that he wanted to take a "time out", Tübingen's Mayor Boris Palmer initially withdrew from the public eye. "I'm taking a break today and for this reason I won't answer any questions," he told the German Press Agency in Stuttgart on Tuesday. When asked when he'll be able to talk again, Palmer replied, "I don't know."
Palmer called in sick at City Hall on Tuesday. "Mr. Palmer is ill and will not be available for inquiries today," a city official said. The city administration does not know what his time-out is supposed to look like.
Palmer had announced his resignation from the party on Monday and previously announced that he wanted to take a "time out". On Friday, on the sidelines of a migration conference in Frankfurt am Main, he commented on the way he used the "N-word". When confronted with shouts of "Nazis out," Palmer told the crowd, "It's nothing but the Star of David. It's because I used a word that you guys frame everything else by. If you say the wrong word , one is a Nazi for you." The so-called N-word describes a racist term for black people that was used in Germany in the past. Palmer had been heavily criticized for his statements. In a personal statement Monday, Palmer said he "should never have talked like that" as mayor.
Tübingen Green: "Consistent step"
The Tübingen Greens expressed respect for Palmer's decision. Local members had "made great efforts to get closer," said a joint statement from the party's district and city association. In view of Palmer's recent statements, the exit is a "logical step". They want to continue working on making Tübingen climate-neutral by 2030 - if possible together with Palmer.
Federal party leader Omid Nouripour paid tribute to Palmer for leaving the party but expressed no regrets. "There were reasons why we all had a lot of discussions with each other," he said on Tuesday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin". Palmer's step is "respectable and I wish him a good life".
Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann regretted leaving. "Personally, I'm sorry for this clever head, who has enriched our party for a very long time," he said on Tuesday in Stuttgart. He finds what happened there extremely painful. Tübingen member of parliament Chris Kühn described Palmer's exit from the party as a logical step. Palmer has moved far away from the party in terms of content and program, especially since 2015.
Palmer himself spoke on Facebook. There he posted a picture of newly planted trees on the median of a road. "I'm excited about developments like this," Palmer wrote. He will continue to work on that. "Next year we aim to establish at least 100 new street tree sites," he wrote. He did not say when he wanted to resume work as Mayor of Tübingen. He says goodbye to a break "until further notice". On his Facebook profile he published a picture with the word "time out".