During a citizens' dialogue with Christian Lindner, an activist wants to hijack the event. The finance minister reacts annoyed – and ultimately confidently.
Münster – Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has been rebelling against one or the other demand for some time and is not making himself popular everywhere. For example, the party leader of the Liberals spoke out several times against further funds for the admission of refugees – as recently as April, the states and municipalities had demanded further funding from the federal government. Lindner also instructed federal ministries on Wednesday (31 May) to implement radical austerity measures.
One day later, on Thursday (1 June), Lindner entered into a citizens' dialogue in Münster, where participants were able to ask questions. However, it only took 15 minutes before the event threatened to be cancelled. When it came to the topic of migration, a young man – dressed in a "Snout Christian, open borders" shirt – took the floor.
"Since this is no longer Mr. Lindner's event, let's briefly point out: You can't save money and then say, 'yes okay, we can't save so many people'. So I would say, Mr. Lindner, you can go home now, we'll take over the shop here for today," the activist said. In the meantime, the video is circulating on Twitter, among other places.
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) at an event of the Sparkasse in Hanover. © Xander Heinl/Imago
"They're welcome to applaud now": Lindner invokes democracy
The finance minister was initially unimpressed by this and emphasized that he had given the man "two minutes" of speaking time. When the activist countered that he didn't care and that he was holding the microphone, and not Lindner, the politician became loud. "If you don't play by the rules, then we'll do democracy now," Lindner shouted. "Anyone who thinks you've taken over the event is welcome to applaud now," he added. What followed was restrained applause from a few participants.
"Now the cross-check," said Lindner, before applause. "You lost," he told the man. When security forces wanted to transport the activist out afterwards, the man invoked his promised speaking time. Lindner reminded the man that he called himself a "liar" and that he had denied his chance. "This is what we have in common: we are both liars," replied the activist, who covered his face with a Corona protective mask.
Lindner, now visibly irritated, shouted "just because you are loud and use violence, you are not right" and looked into the rows of spectators. "Don't shout, Christian," the activist said calmly, before the conversation heated up again. "I'm just shouting because they used violence," said the finance minister, before the man was expelled from the event in the Bennohaus community center. It is unclear what violence Lindner was alluding to here.
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Quarrel with Finance Minister: Left-wing group wanted to disrupt Lindner event
After the tumult, Christian Lindner returned to the exchange with the citizens. In doing so, the FDP leader tried to be close to the people and approached his interlocutors several times. Topics such as the Ukraine war, inflation as well as e-fuels and climate change were discussed. The event was preceded by protests in which demonstrators drew attention to the climate goals with posters.
The alleged perpetrator of the dispute then reported to the radio station Antenne Münster. As part of the "Busters", a left-wing group from Münster, he tried to disrupt the event together with the alliance "Lindner veressenn". In a statement to the radio station, the activists argued that the finance minister "was visibly struggling to keep his composure." They didn't even get involved in "his well-known conversation strategies". (nak)