“Four-way battle” of the small parties: Left leader Wissler confirms her rejection of NATO

“Fourfight” of the small parties
Left leader Wissler confirms her rejection of NATO

CSU top candidate Dobrindt continues to speculate in the “four-way battle” of the small parties about a red-green-red alliance. But the reality is different: Left leader Wissler insists on her party’s goal of dissolving NATO. That should ruin talks with the SPD and the Greens.

After the triumph of the Chancellor candidates on Sunday, the top candidates of the four smaller parties FDP, Left, AfD and CSU exchanged blows on central political issues. In the ARD program “The Four Fighting After the Triell” different positions, for example in the further pension policy or in the foreign and security policy became clear.

The debate also showed that there was hardly any basis for the left to participate in an SPD-led federal government. While SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz demands a clear commitment to NATO from every possible coalition partner, Left Chairwoman Janine Wissler said: “We want to dissolve NATO and transform it into a collective security alliance”. Russia should also belong to this.

However, Wissler explicitly criticized the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and the suppression of the opposition. She denied that her party had a “soft spot for Russia” – it was more a matter of “not wanting a military confrontation with Russia”. The AfD parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel pleaded for a “more relaxed relationship with Russia because Russia is an important geostrategic actor”. She rejected the sanctions against Russia.

CSU top candidate Alexander Dobrindt accused Wissler and Weidel of “two very radical positions”. The positions of the Left and AfD “questioned our security architecture, our alliance architecture and our value architecture,” he criticized. FDP top candidate Christian Lindner also criticized Wissler and Weidel’s positions in Russia. He was “deeply convinced that Russia has its place in the House of Europe,” said the liberal. “But Mr Putin’s leadership has turned repression of its own people and the opposition and threatening neighbors into politics.”

Lindner wants flexible retirement

In terms of pension policy, the FDP chairman, Lindner, called for a flexible model for the start of retirement. “We advocate individualization,” he said. From the age of 60 people should be free to decide when to retire. Lindner also advocated the FDP model of a share pension. Lindner also called for an expansion of private provision: the insurance contributions of the insured would have to be invested more in the international financial markets – for example under the supervision of a fund “under state supervision”.

Weidel then certified that he had “no idea” about investments. The AfD wanted a state fund to secure pensions, but it would have to include other forms of investment in addition to shares. “Otherwise you are very prone to crashes.” Weidel also advocated that civil servants and politicians also pay into the statutory pension insurance.

Meanwhile, the CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt promoted the third stage of the mother’s pension. “The maternal pension is about justice, not campaigning.” However, the CDU boss and Union Chancellor candidate had rejected the expansion of the mother’s pension. Dobrindt also advocated a “generation pension” as a fourth pillar alongside the statutory pension, the company pension and private provision. This would be saved from birth.

Wissler was the only one present to speak out in favor of a general lowering of the retirement age. This must fall back to 65 years, she said. At the same time, the pension level must rise again. The statutory pension must be strengthened, private provision “many cannot afford”. Wissler also spoke out in favor of including civil servants and politicians in the statutory pension.

Left defends wealth tax

In tax policy, Wissler defended the left’s proposal to tax financial assets and private property. Since there is an allowance of one million euros per person, many homeowners, especially families, would not be affected at all, she said. There should be an allowance of five million euros for business assets.

Weidel, who also spoke out in favor of Germany leaving the euro, objected that this could be the “death knell” for companies that are already burdened by the Corona crisis. “More redistribution won’t solve a problem,” she added. Dobrindt emphasized that it was now a matter of “generating economic dynamism”. Lindner reiterated its call for a super write-off for investments in capital goods. Measures are needed with which Germany can work its way out of the crisis after the corona pandemic, said Lindner, who has ambitions for the office of Federal Minister of Finance. It shows that the USA and China are coming out of the crisis with stronger growth. In addition, Lindner called for the solidarity surcharge to be abolished quickly: “The solos are unconstitutional and must therefore be dropped”.

Much to do in education

The top candidates saw a clear need for action by a future federal government on the subject of education. The most important thing is to overcome social inequalities in the education system, said Wissler. “I think that the fact that there are multiple groups and the early choice of school after the fourth grade ensures that the different starting opportunities for children are more solidified than compensated for.” Lindner called for a stronger role for the federal government: “The federal government must also take responsibility for the modernization of the education system.” He called for educational federalism to be reformed so that the federal government could help finance it, but there had to be more comparability between the federal states.

Dobrindt emphasized that the digital pact for schools had to be “breathe life into it now”. Lessons from the Corona period with distance teaching must be preserved and continued. One should not go back to the time “where frontal teaching is the norm, but one must also make greater use of these digital elements for the future”. Weidel said that one should start to relieve families of taxes and duties. In addition, investments must be made in schools, infrastructure and digitization: “There is a lot to be done.”