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Schmid, Ulrich

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 04/04/2011

Power greed destroys German Liberals' profile

The German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced his resignation as head of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) on Sunday. The liberal conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung hopes the party will cut a more distinctly liberal profile in future: "Certainly, the insipid arena of German consensual politics does not need a fifth social democratic party in parliament, but a group with rough edges and a real profile. It must remind this state-enamoured nation that there are still people with initiative and that economising is not the same thing as raising taxes. Such a message is not popular, but that's something the FDP must live with. More time in the opposition would do it good in any event. Over the decades it has been the bedfellow of all too many parties - the conservative CDU and CSU, the Social Democrats and the Greens - and its desire for exclusive power has worn away its distinctive features. If the FDP remains true to liberalism it will remain small. Nevertheless it remains on the scene, and in doing so it fulfils an important task in state politics, one it should not disdain."

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