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My German nicht ist gut.  But from what I got, the FDP is going to be taking the economic ministries (finance, economics) and the foreign ministry foe Westerwelle.  Did I read that right?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:10:11 PM EST
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Sorta. They won't get the economics and the finance ministry, either of those is probably going to the CSU's Von und Zu Guttenberg, and the other to the FDP.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:34:25 PM EST
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Well, "Der Spiegel" was speculating.

Foreign ministry for Westerwelle though is a given.
But as "Der Spiegel" itself says it is unlikely that the FDP will get both "economic" ministries.

In the past they usually got the economics ministry.
Plus justice and 1-2 less important ones.
Of course back then they never got 14% or so. So they might insist on more this time.

Finance would be "free" now since Steinbrück is SPD. But normally finance is seen as more important than economics so the larger party would be reluctant to give it up.

On the other hand a FDP finance minister might help Merkel? Depending on who gets it of course.
Even a FDP finance minister might be more interested in getting closer to a balanced budget = less debt. And so might be reluctant to agree to large tax cuts.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:39:17 PM EST
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Plus justice and 1-2 less important ones.

To give the devils their due, they have a history of being less authoritarian than CDU. If one of them could supplant Schäuble at Interior I would count that as an improvement.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:48:36 PM EST
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Well, yes, but let's remember that the FDP justice minister preventing the Großer Lauschangriff [for others: a wide-reaching law on permitting eavesdropping on people, including journalists, priests and doctors, from the late Kohl era] was a dissident within her party with her opinion...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:53:18 PM EST
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A yes, she of the many-lettered last name.

To be fair, she could be characterized as representing a recognized minority opinion in her party rather than as a dissident, seeing as she had Gerhard Baum and Burkhard Hirsch in her corner.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:03:15 PM EST
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Here I hope the "Spiegel" speculation turns out right and she returns to the justice ministry.
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:25:59 PM EST
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Even a FDP finance minister might be more interested in getting closer to a balanced budget = less debt. And so might be reluctant to agree to large tax cuts.

So, massive social spending cuts on the horizon?

En un viejo pas ineficiente, algo as como Espaa entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:10:54 PM EST
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Difficult to answer but personally I´d say no.

The CDU (and CSU in Bavaria) have seen what happened to the SPD after Schroeder´s reforms. And they know the same could happen to them if they initiate massive social spending cuts. I´m not sure they´re willing to risk that.

What I would expect:

  • Some small "cosmetic" tax cuts sometime in 2010/11
  • A promise to cut taxes further as soon as the situation (economy, budget) allows

Basically a "yes we want to cut taxes but right now the budget situation doesn´t allow it".
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 06:42:53 AM EST
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