Opportunity for new prosperity? Finance Minister Lindner is harshly dismissed

Updated on 05/13/2022 06:33

  • Maybrit Illner discussed with her guests about Germany in “multi-crisis mode”: war, corona, inflation.
  • “How long will you breathe?” she wanted to know.
  • First Finance Minister Lindner and DGB boss Fahimi quarreled about the right instruments for crisis management, then moderator Illner made a slip of the tongue for the moment of the evening.

Crisis mode is currently in effect: the Ukraine war is ongoing, prices in Germany are at record levels. German politicians are debating arms deliveries and relief packages, while experts are warning of an escalation of the war and wage-price spirals. At the same time, the danger from the corona virus cannot yet be considered averted.

That’s the theme of “Illner”

Prices in Germany are rising: for food, gas, heating oil. In April, the inflation rate was 7.4 percent. “The foundation of German prosperity is under threat,” Illner stated and wanted to know: “War, Corona, inflation – one crisis too many?”. The studio also dealt with relief packages for citizens, austerity measures and wage policy.

These are the guests

Christian Lindner (FDP): The Federal Minister of Finance and party leader said: “Our strength is Germany’s economic substance. That’s why we can show solidarity”. However, one should not feel safe. “We are trying to cushion the current loss of purchasing power with relief packages,” promised Lindner. Politicians are prepared for various scenarios regarding Russia’s gas policy.

Yasmin Fahimi: “How many historical moments do we actually need to say. It needs a redistribution from top to bottom?” Asked the chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and SPD member Yasmin Fahimi. Wanting to carry inflation on the backs of employees now means saying: “We have to use wages to cushion what has to be shouldered now. Of course we won’t go along with that,” she said.

Karl Haeusgen: The entrepreneur and BDI Vice President was certain: “We are also seeing many positive signs” and pointed to high employment and a low unemployment rate. “The social balance of all relief measures must be observed,” he demanded. This is the only way to protect the state treasury in the end – “because the money is only spent where it works,” says Haeusgen. But he also made it clear: “We must not believe that everything can be intercepted by government relief packages.”

Veronika Grimm: The economist and “Wirtschaftsweise” admitted: “We are in a very challenging situation. Inflation is high, collective bargaining is imminent. We have significant real wage losses.” Grimm warned of a wage-price spiral. She called for a change in political communication: “From ‘We’ll get you through the crisis’ to: ‘We need a transformation and it will change life profoundly,'” said the economist.

Matthew Grenzer: The self-employed master baker from Rostock reported on the effects of inflation on his company. “We buy at higher prices. Flour now costs 60 cents instead of 30,” says Grenzer. One cannot expect everything from the customer and increase the price of each product. He is currently selling significantly less. In principle, customers understand price increases, but it also happens that saleswomen are offended.

This is the moment of the evening at “Illner”

Presenter Illner finally made her voice heard and asked, turning to Christian Lindner: “How about asking people to think about saving, Mr. Habeck?” Lindner had to laugh when Illner corrected himself: “Excuse me! If we talk about a speed limit again? About the car-free Sunday? If we take the citizens with us?”

Lindner replied with a laugh: “I understand why you say Habeck. The whole list of prohibitions had to lead to this false address!” It is probably a Freudian slip of the tongue. If that wasn’t a dig at the coalition partner.

This is the speech duel of the evening

“We have a chance to emerge stronger from these crises,” said Finance Minister Lindner, adding: “There are opportunities for new prosperity and new social security if we change.” It needs accelerated planning and approval procedures and projects in the areas of infrastructure, climate change, free trade agreements as a motor.

Fahimi was too euphemistic. “It all sounds nice, but it’s too general for me,” she dismissed Lindner. “There is an opportunity in the crisis – that doesn’t catch many people on the monitor. We have to go a step deeper,” she demanded. People in this country have repeatedly experienced that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. “Will we be able to do it socially just this time?” She asked and demanded: “We have to take a closer look at the toolbox.”

That’s how Maybrit Illner fought

Illner mostly cut a fine figure on Thursday evening: “Is a storm brewing? Is that a toxic mixture?” she wanted to know from Haeusgen about the “multi-crisis”. Illner also asked: “How long will our population hold their breath?” However, one question kept popping up. “How can we take the citizens with us?” the moderator wanted to know. She didn’t get a correct answer – perhaps she should have rephrased her request.

This is the result at “Illner”

Germany is in a “multi-crisis” and there is a lot to talk about. The guests in the studio were able to agree that crises can and should be used positively. Only to the question: “In what form?” the guests had different answers. An important finding, however, is that in the debate about the “multi-crisis” it must not be forgotten that German society is also multi-dimensional.

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Updated on 05/12/2022 10:26 am

Defense support, cooperation in the energy sector and tightening of sanctions against Russia were discussed. Appreciate the high level of dialogue with Germany and support in combat,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. Photo Credit: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire/IMAGO/Ukraine Presidency