FDP leader Christian Lindner expressed a strong need for more responsibility in fiscal policy and a legally anchored ban on the bank bailout. He criticized the state bank bailout as a perversion of the market economy. “If financial markets know in good time that from the date X the state will no longer come to help us, business practices will change from today on,” explained the liberal in an interview for “WirtschaftsWoche”.
Lindner made it clear that Germany needs FDP as a market corrective. In his opinion, voters were now watching in which direction the party would develop. He decisively rejected leftist deviation towards redistribution and state fixation as well as the populist path to the right. “Our goal is a way of firm principles and updated policies, as Otto Graf Lambsdorff, Gerhart Baum or Hans -Dietrich Genscher would do it,” he explained .
For intergenerational equity and flexibility in the pension
The liberal federal leader sharply criticized the pension package of the grand coalition. The Black-Red organised a political Thanksgiving – but only one generation would benefit, while all others would suffer, claimed Lindner. FDP rejects this approach, yet without supporting the retirement age of 67 or 70. “I consider it outdated. Life conditions differ way too much,” he emphasized. Lindner called for more self-determination and customization of retirement between employers and employees, inspired by the Swedish model.
In addition, the FDP leader criticized the failure of the Black-Red regarding the relief for citizens. The scandalous aspect of the pension laws is that the coalition needed only a few days to create their expensive package, and at the same time it postpones combating cold progression again, he complained. It is time to give something back to the citizens. After the Black-Yellow financial planning of the last legislature for 2015, the structurally higher tax revenue will be used to pay off old debts and to counteract cold progression, explained Lindner. “It was cancelled so that campaign gifts could be distributed,” criticized Lindner.
More efficiency and subsidiarity in Europe
At the European level, the liberals call for more subsidiarity. “It must not be a taboo to bring powers from Brussels back in the national hand,” underlined Lindner. More Europe, on the other hand, is needed in big issues such as collective security, data protection and a common European energy market. The latter would be “self-defence for citizens against the crazy German solo action with permanent subsidies and one-sided fixation on climate protection at the expense of jobs,” stated the FDP leader. “Had there been a common energy market in 2012, consumers alone would save 13 billion euros simply because of competition,” he said in an interview for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”.
In addition, the FDP is committed to reduce the number of member and simplify the structures of the EU Commission. There should be only as many commissioners as the contracts provided for: “Two thirds of the number of member states. At the moment, we have one Commissioner per country, which is an illegitimate state.”
Translation: Gabriela Kadlecová