The second guest in transform!’s series "Meeting the Left" was Katja Kipping, Co-Chairperson of the party Die LINKE. The conversation largely focussed on European politics.
"Die LINKE is passionate about Eurobonds", says Kipping. Such solidarity is necessary for Europe, not only for countries in financial difficulties.” It would also be in the German interest since the German economy is largely dependent on exports and therefore dependent on Europe. “Due to ideological blinkers, the federal government is proving itself deaf, even to the economic arguments for Euro- or Coronabonds.”
When asked about the recent Federal Constitutional Court's ruling on the European Central Bank's bond purchase programme, Kipping replied: “In fact, the judgment did not prohibit the ECB's purchase of government bonds, but merely criticized the procedure. This can still be cured. If the ECB wanted to provide help, it would have to notify the federal government which would have to ask the parliament for a decision and then report back to the ECB. "Obviously, the federal government wanted to avoid this decision”, said Kipping, "now, after the judgment, it will have to take a stand."
Kipping referred also to the more general aspects of the crisis. The situation was critical even before Corona, she said. "Society is approaching dangerous tipping points. This is most clearly visible in the climate crisis. But society can also tip over when it comes to social cohesion. Frustrated life plans, the feeling of being left behind, can become real dangers for democracy."
With regard to the upcoming German EU Council Presidency, Kipping specified: "It is now the moment for strengthening the social dimension – introducing strong social minimum standards, including minimum wages, sanction-free minimum benefits, taking a closer look at migrant and seasonal workers. After all, the left is in favour of increasing the taxation of international corporations, starting with Google and Apple."
However, it is not just about social and economic issues: "Europe must emancipate itself from NATO and should play a role in advocating disarmament. The EU should not copy the USA and not endeavour becoming a new world power."