Cracks in the Foundations of State and Society
Lecture by the politician and former Finance Minister
Introduced by Manfred Lahnstein
- Sunday, 14 November 2010
- Renaissance-Theater Berlin
Active in the SPD, to which he has belonged since 1969. Born in Hamburg in 1947, he studied Economics and was a Permanent Secretary and Minister in Schleswig-Holstein, Minister and Prime Minster in North Rhine-Westphalia and Federal Finance Minister in the Grand Coalition from 2005 until 2009. “Our message to savers is that your investments are safe. The Federal Government will vouch for that”, Steinbrück said along with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on 5th August 2008 at the peak of the financial crisis. Steinbrück identifies a sense of proportion, passion and an awareness of responsibility as essential political virtues. What concerns him are the consequences of the global financial crisis for the economic foundations of our prosperity and social cohesion. Do the increasing pressure of global competition and the weakness of the public purse threaten an end to the social state? How stable is the community in its democratic core, how strongly are the centrifugal forces in society increasing?
“All great political action consists of speaking out about what is and begins with this. All political small-mindedness consists in remaining silent about and concealing what is.” – When Steinbrück, now a member of the German Bundestag quotes Lassalle, this is also a personal statement: Steinbrück is regarded as pragmatic and sober, but he also displays a volatile temperament, he has a sharp tongue and likes pithy expressions.
His polemic Unterm Strich (Below the Line) was published in autumn 2010.