MYou do not have to make the same mistake twice. So FDP leader Christian Lindner initially demanded funding for his party – so that for himself, the money manager could be involved everywhere. So this sector is one of the most important in government. In addition, the FDP has a special role to play in traffic lighting. While the SPD and the Greens see themselves as “progressive” forces, the Liberals are shaped differently: they create individual responsibility. That doesn’t mean they are targeting a night watchman position, but the trend does mean it: no more taxes than needed. But Lindner could not repay anything, the dilapidated budget situation and new allies would not allow it.

Traumatic experiences from the alliance with the Union continue to have repercussions. In the fall of 2009, the FDP did not approach the Ministry of Finance, which had previously placed tax policy at the center of its election campaign. The episode is well known and often described, with the Liberal Party finally standing naked. She made a lot of promises, did not achieve anything, she will be punished and expelled not only from the central government, but also from the bandwagon. Four years later, under Lindner’s leadership, he returned to parliament, even on the threshold of power. His belated rejection of the Jamaican alliance was a reflection of the old humiliation, with the often quoted words, “It is better not to rule than to rule badly.”

Four years later, the FDP dares to rule in a three-party alliance with the Greens – not as a union as planned, but as a senior partner with the SPD. The Ministry of Finance is very important. Lindner used the time to prepare for his new role. But in the end these are dry runs. In December it goes into the water. Then you have to swim in the turbulent sea. Because, as in the last few weeks, the red-green-yellow has given a look of harmony and professionalism, things will rarely be the same in the next four years.

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