FDP continues to see freedom as a core issue

Before the federal party conference FDP continues to see freedom as a core issue

Volker Wissing

“As a citizen, however, I have the right to have constitutional organs decide and not unofficial rounds during a crisis”: Volker Wissing. Photo: Peter Steffen / dpa

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The FDP sets course for the federal election. A digital party congress will decide on the election program from Friday onwards. The board of directors and the presidium are also newly elected.

FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing sees his party strengthened ahead of the federal election in September. "The FDP has a significant increase in membership at the moment," said Wissing of the German press agency.

"These are people who could not have imagined how quickly and how massively the state is ready to interfere in their privacy and impose restrictions on their freedom, including house arrest for curfews."

The Liberals currently have around 68.500 members. At the beginning of 2020, the Liberals had around 65.500 members nationwide. Starting on Friday, the party wants to set the course for the federal election in September for three days. The presidium and the federal executive committee are newly elected. At the predominantly digitally organized party congress, decisions are made about the election program.

A draft calls for a reform and modernization of authorities that would have proven to be bureaucratically paralyzed in many cases during the corona pandemic. The FDP calls for tax relief for companies and all citizens - including those with high incomes, a modernization of old-age provision, a reduction in bureaucracy and a boost in digitization. The Liberals also want to make the education system in Germany more efficient with a billions in expenditure.

The core issue is still freedom, said Wissing. The restrictions in the pandemic also came to the fore. "In this pandemic, the importance of the FDP in our democratic, free constitutional state has certainly become more recognizable and visible," emphasized Wissing.

He criticized the actions of the federal government, which had to take all the mandates of the constitution equally seriously, but gave the impression that the constitution could not be the measure of all things. “But constitutions are rules that have to prove themselves in times of crisis. We're not a fair-weather democracy, "he said.

"You cannot decide on the restrictions quickly and, on the other hand, only put the relaxations, for example for vaccinated people, into force when it suits you politically," warned Wissing. “This is arbitrary, and the current Corona policy has features of arbitrary decisions. In a democracy that is extremely trust-destroying. "

So decide the Prime Minister's Conference, although it is not a constitutional body. “As a citizen, however, I have the right to have constitutional organs decide and not unofficial rounds in a crisis. Rounds that are not transparent, in which experts are not widely heard and whose communication leaves much to be desired, ”criticized Wissing. "That is an imposition for democracies, should remain the absolute exception and must also be worked through."

He warned against using authoritarian action, for example, to avert climate change. “The danger is always there. It is all the more important to strictly observe the constitutional requirements. The thesis that the Basic Law can be handled a little more generously in a crisis is extremely dangerous, ”said Wissing. "When politicians begin to feel like interfering with freedom because they have the feeling that they can achieve their goals more quickly with them, a limit has been crossed."

He also sees no comparison between fighting the pandemic and fighting a long-term human problem. “In a pandemic, quick, short-term measures must be taken. We cope with climate change by making sustainable changes, ”he said. "We Free Democrats rely on innovation instead of bans, on technology instead of ideology, on ingenuity instead of bureaucracy."