EU panic! Bloc in meltdown over new German finance minister – spectre haunting Europe

Germany: CDU political party receives criticism from within

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Christian Lindner, leader of the Free Democratic Party of Germany, has been mentioned on a number of occasions for the role of finance minister. However, fears have been shown all across Europe at the prospect of Mr Lindner being appointed as Federal Minister of Finance.

According to reports, the role of the Federal Minister of Finance is a dream job for the current leader of the Free Democratic Party.

Following the election in Germany for the Bundestag, it became clear that the choice of Mr Lindner as Federal Minister of Finance was not the preferred choice across Europe.

Hans-Jürgen Moritz, German author and Brussels correspondent for Online Focus, said that it was important for political figures across the European Union to oppose the appointment of Mr Lindner as Federal Minister of Finance.

He said: “A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre is Christian Lindner.

“There will be no new federal government without him. And his dream job is being finance minister.

“Many EU partners are afraid of this. Under Lindner, they fear a new version of the German debt brake – Berlin could turn off the money tap that Angela Merkel has just opened wide in tandem with French President Emmanuel Macron.”

The expert added: “It was important for Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi to declare quite undiplomatically: Lindner as Finance Minister would hardly have any European policy-making power in the next federal cabinet.”

But Italy has not shied away from the potential dangers which the appointment of Mr Lindner could have across Europe.

Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” suspected that he would “want to return to fiscal (and monetary) austerity as soon as possible” should Mr Lindner be appointed in the role.

And it seemed like the Italian newspaper’s worries rang true, as Mr Lindner did not refute this – as shown by a recent tweet of his.

He tweeted: “The highest rate of inflation since 1993 is another reason to keep an eye on the relief of the middle of society and the return to solid-state finances.”

Greek newspaper “Kathimerini” also joined La Repubblica in expressing their concerns about the appointment of Mr Lindner.

They wrote that the potential appointment of Mr Lindner in the role of Federal Minister of Finance would be “bad news”.

Meanwhile, weekly German business news magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” acknowledged that there was a real prospect that following the German election, the potential appointment of Mr Lindner was becoming a real prospect.

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They said: “Since Germany voted, one topic of conversation has dominated the EU capitals: Will Christian Lindner be the next Federal Minister of Finance?”

The “Frugal Four”, the austerity-policy-focused EU quartet of Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, have defended the potential appointment of Christian Lindner.

They said: “Lindner would be ideal. We just don’t believe that he can get away with the debt brake as he thinks.”

However, regardless of who backs the potential future Federal Minister of Finance, it is clear that Mr Lindner will face a number of hurdles in his new role.

Mr Moritz said: “Lindner will immediately have to prove himself at the bilateral level between the two largest economies in Europe right at the beginning of his presumably imminent term of office.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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