Momentum Grows among the Liberals to Leave the German Government
With a popularity rating down to less than 20%, the three-party coalition government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz now also has to deal with a campaign among Free Democratic Party (FDP) members to pull out of the coalition. The drive, which had been building for months, took off after the drastic losses of votes for the FDP in the Oct. 8 elections for state parliament in Hesse and Bavaria (cf. SAS 41/23). The FDP was even voted out of the Bavarian state parliament.
Three weeks later, 26 “rebels” published an open letter to the party leadership, headlined “Wake up Call Freedom”, calling for the party to leave the government. They mainly object to the utopian economic policies, which they compare to someone jumping out of an airplane, hoping that someone will extend him a parachute while in free fall. If the current government remains until the next scheduled national elections in the autumn of 2025, they warn, it will mean the deindustrialization of Germany due to the devastating combination of “green” regulations, energy and materials price inflation and a bureaucracy reluctant to approve new investment projects.
The initiators of the Wakeup Call are recruiting new signatories nationally in favor of organizing an inner-party referendum, which would be binding for the party leadership. FDP chairman Christian Lindner, now Minister of Finance in the government, is blamed for failing to act as a “corrective” against the Greens, as he had promised to do when accepting the position two years ago, and thus for the dramatic loss of support for the party. Presumably, he would have to change policies or resign.
For example, concerning nuclear power, Christian Lindner did not seriously oppose the government’s decision to shut down the last operating nuclear plants last April. But the open letter calls for a re-entry into nuclear energy, endorsing construction of reactors based on new technologies, notably the German-Canadian project of a Dual Fluid system.
One major flaw of the signatories’ policy is their defense of a “free market” economic policy, with as little state intervention as possible – although that approach has led to the overall industrial decline not only of Germany but of the transatlantic world. Real economic growth, supported by abundant quantities of nuclear power, which the signatories seem to favor, can only be achieved with an in-depth restructuring of the financial sector, including a system of bank separation, under which commercial banks issue long-term credit for productive sectors of the economy. That, in turn, cannot be done without wise state intervention.