Reckoning with his own party: Former Interior Minister Gerhart Baum is harsh on the FDP’s pandemic policy. The liberals would have campaigned for corona easing, “even if it was not responsible”.

The former FDP top politician Gerhart Baum has sharply criticized the Corona course of the current party leadership and partly accused her of irresponsibility.

Distrust of state intervention is “an indispensable characteristic of liberal politics,” said the 89-year-old former Federal Minister of the Interior (1978-1982) to the editorial network Germany. “But this must not mean that the necessary responsibility for the common good falls by the wayside.”

In the most recent state elections in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, the FDP failed “disastrously”, as Baum put it, “also because of its pandemic policy”. Nevertheless, FDP Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki announced that it would be continued in the fall, he criticized.

The FDP campaigned for the protective measures to be relaxed, “even if it was not responsible, as in autumn 2020, when the hesitation had to be paid for with a lockdown”. The FDP policy was “at times a piece of populism that voters did not follow,” said Baum. “They simply could not imagine that all other democratic parties, all federal states and science were wrong.”

There is increasing debate within the coalition about which corona protection measures should be set for the fall. The FDP in particular is still on the brakes. Leading liberals want the corona measures to be assessed professionally first. Evidence-based decisions could only be made on the basis of a corresponding report.