The leader of Germany’s Free Democratic Party has opened his bid to join Chancellor Angela Merkel in a coalition after elections at the end of September.
Guido Westervelle’s party advocates lower taxes, a streamlined social-welfare system and a return to nuclear power. Westervelle told supporters: “the middle class is what makes Germany strong. Break the middle class and you break the nation,” he said. On saving the car giant Open he said: “Does this coalition want to save Opel or must Opel save this coalition? This will be the most expensive campaign of all times.” The FDP has been out power for 11 years, but it has no other realistic option but to form a coalition with Merkel’s party which is plumbing new lows in opinion polls. Meanwhile Germany’s Green Party has already fired the starting gun in its campaign. The party’s platform calls for millions of new jobs in the next 6 years in part through investments in climate change prevention, education and health care. The party also wants to tax the rich.