GERMANY: 30 Seconds to finish BIG Petition

In the beginning of 2009 more than 50,000 people supported the petition of Susanne Wiest, who demanded a Basic Income for Germany. Almost 2 years later a public hearing on the issue took place. And almost another 2 years later, on 28th June 2013, the topic was closed after 30 seconds without a further discussion.

The left-wing online journal “Neues Deutschland” commented in an article: From a political point of view this was a clandestinely funeral of an objective which some years ago attracted great attention – and which actually can not be eliminated with a usual form of ticking off.

The factions of the Green and Left Party voted against the finishing. In a statement of the Green Party they explain: It is important for the subscribers to combine the general principle of justice and emancipating social policy with the importance of public institutions and financial feasibility. Considering the increasing growth problem and broad restructuring of the economy by processes of rationalization we need in the long term a transformation of the social state.

Katja Kipping, the leader of the Left Party published also a personal statement against the finishing of the petition, because the principle objection and the social importance of a discussion on the Unconditional Basic Income is not taken into account. Considering the increasing social division in Germany and Europe I consider it for necessary to discuss alternative ideas and practical approaches seriously also in the German Bundestag to improve the social situation of the people.

Both parties, Left and Green, as well as the Pirate Party, suggest in their election manifestos an enquiry commission to continue the discussion on Basic Income within the German Bundestag. The petition brought this discussion into the parliament and the mentioned parties refuse a finishing of the petition in the meaning to end the discussion. The elections on 22nd September 2013 will show what is going to happen further.

Links used within the text (all in German):

Video of the public hearing:
Article in Neues Deutschland:
Statemet of the Green Party:
Statement of Katja Kipping:

Karl Widerquist

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