Leader of German party FDP questions policy of departing finance minister

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-06 21:33:28|Editor: Zhou Xin
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BERLIN, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Leader of German business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP), Christian Lindner, has questioned and distanced himself from the policies of departing Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, local media reported on Friday.

"New financial policies are more important to us than a new minister," Lindner told the newspaper Handelsblatt. Schaeuble is a veteran politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Lindner said that he was not impressed by Lindner's record as Finance Minister during the past four years.

Merkel has asked Schaeuble to step down from his post in order to assume the role of President of the new German federal parliament (Bundestag).

Aside from maintaining order in a legislative body occupied by a far-right party for the first time, Schaeuble's career change was widely viewed as giving Merkel's party a powerful bargaining chip during looming coalition negotiations in the form of the prestigious and powerful finance minister post.

The FDP is widely anticipated to join a "Jamaica" coalition with Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative alliance and the Green party (Gruene). The FDP has repeatedly signalized its interest in nominating the next German government's Finance Minister.

While Lindner raised no such claims on Friday, he criticized Schaeuble's failure to convince Merkel to take a harder line in Eurozone politics surrounding the conditions of the Greek bailout package.

The FDP leader further attacked Schaeuble for not having reduced the tax burden shouldered by German citizens during his tenure.

Lindner advocated for maintaining the German "black zero" goal of running continuous government surpluses, but questioned whether the fact that Germany has met this goal over the past years could be seen as Schaeuble's personal achievement.