“When asked during a news conference on Monday afternoon why he dropped out of the talks, Mr. Lindner listed areas where the negotiations didn’t yield the results his party wanted. The other parties would agree only to a gradual elimination of the “Soli,” a tax used to help the economies of former East German regions. The Free Democrats had also sought limits on immigration, but the Greens insisted on exceptions for humanitarian reasons. These are completely normal and necessary compromises — but the Free Democrats apparently feared that their voters would be told by the AfD that the party had sold them out for a chance to rule.
The sudden end of the talks is a huge blow to Germany’s global image as a stable, responsible power. Compared to what is at stake on the global level, the discussion on when to end the Soli looks tiny. But then it is exactly this, the disdain for what seem like petty concerns in the name of compromise, that has fed the rise of populism in the first place.
Mr. Lindner and others need the political courage not just to compromise, but to explain to the public why compromise is vital to German democracy.”
Thank you. This is useful, and important information.