"Adenauer’s grandson" – an attribute that conservative politicians like to attach to themselves. Stephan werhahn, keynote speaker at the free voters’ new year’s reception in iphofen on wednesday evening, doesn’t have to:
he is a grandson of the first chancellor of the federal republic of germany and a hopeful of the free voters in the federal elections in september. They have appointed him as their top candidate. In iphofen, he spoke on the topic of "for solid finances in germany – but how?"
The atmosphere in the packed hall of the karl-knauf halle was correspondingly tense. Because werhahn’s switch to the free democrats after 40 years as a member of the CDU made headlines all over germany. In his introductory remarks, he also mentioned the reason for the change: the way his party and the current federal government are dealing with the euro crisis.
This began in 2008 with the banking crisis, in which, according to werhahn, bank regulation would have been necessary. When the euro crisis hit in 2010, it became clear to him that something was going in the wrong direction. Both the euro rescue at any price and the shift of competencies away from politics and towards summit meetings, brussels bureaucracy and the bailout umbrellas debilitate states and citizens.
"I consider saving the euro at any price to be the fundamental problem," werhahn says. He called for a reform of the banks on the one hand. This would require a return to the maastricht treaties: if a state failed to do so, it would have to be expelled from the euro – but not from the eu. These states had to be liable for their debts and be given their own currency.
With the support of the other states, the homework could be done. In werhahn’s opinion, however, this should not be done by the european central bank buying up government bonds. "As a last resort, it must also be possible for germany to remain in the euro zone," said werhahn – depending on the situation, this could be done together with other countries.
Because, in werhahn’s view, the euro is already causing collateral damage in germany. Due to the low interest rate policy, private retirement provision is already almost impossible today. In the next ten years, inflation will lead to the silent expropriation of the middle class and "slowly eat away at people’s wealth.
That’s why it makes sense for the free voters to get involved at the federal level. "We must implement a policy in berlin that is once again more aligned with the interests of the people."
That’s why he was also prepared to put his knowledge at the disposal of the free voters, "which was not possible in the union with its intellectual poverty.".
"I agree with many of the things you said," said hermann hadwiger, member of the savings bank board, in the ensuing discussion, such as depositor protection for bank customers, proximity to the burgers, and the approval of the bundestag. In other matters, however, hadwiger had quite different opinions. About the justification for low interest rates. The EU is only to blame to a small extent, and the saturated markets are primarily responsible for this.
The ECB’s purchase of government bonds is not a done deal, but who can predict the consequences if it does not happen?. Sometimes politicians have to make decisions that are different from those made by the bank of notes. This was the case with the financing of german unification, when inflation was feared due to the high level of debt. Hadwiger already sees a creeping inflation, but not a gross one. "The german is sometimes a bit hysterical," hadwiger said.
In good years, the state should retain something, hadwiger demanded at the end. Fur werhahn the democratic deficit between brussel and the burgers must be eliminated. For bernhard etzelmuller, entrepreneur and third on the podium, the euro is good for the german economy. But a limitation of the debt should be written into the constitution and living together in europe should be put on the same basis. "We should put our own house in order," etzelmuller said of germany’s indebtedness.