Interview: FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr: “I am undecided about the compulsory vaccination”

Dürr, Lindner

FDP leader Christian Lindner tends to make vaccinations compulsory, the majority of the population is in favor. Party colleague Christian Dürr hesitates on the question.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr sees a prerequisite for compulsory vaccination that sufficient vaccine is available. “If we don’t have enough vaccine, the federal government cannot ask anyone to get vaccinated,” said the politician in an interview with the Handelsblatt.

This applies to both general and facility-related vaccination requirements. Dürr was therefore angry about the failure of the former Minister of Health Jens Spahn. “Because we have a well-running vaccination campaign. More people have been vaccinated than ever in the past week, ”he said.

Dürr can understand the application now submitted by FDP Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki against compulsory vaccination. “The fact that MEPs from our group also reject the general compulsory vaccination is, in my opinion, completely legitimate. Many in the FDP are still hesitant about the question, ”said Dürr.

He himself is still undecided on the question. Here he still lacked answers to urgent questions.

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Read the whole interview here:

Mr. Dürr, there is a risk of a shortage of vaccines in the coming year. How optimistic are you that the Minister of Health will receive the extra doses of vaccine he announced on time?
I was very surprised by the news that the old federal government did not procure enough vaccine to advance the booster campaign. I am grateful to Health Minister Lauterbach that he is now taking care of this. And I am confident that it will eliminate the shortage. We want the pace of vaccination not to slow down.

If the deficiency persists, has a possible general vaccination requirement been resolved?
The prerequisite for compulsory vaccination is sufficient vaccine. This applies equally to the general and facility-related vaccination requirements. If we don’t have enough vaccine, the federal government can’t ask anyone to get vaccinated. I am all the more annoyed by the failure of the former Minister of Health. Because we have a well-running vaccination campaign. In the past week, more people have been vaccinated than ever before.

How do you personally view the general compulsory vaccination? The FDP disagrees here.
I have not yet made up my mind on this question. I am also looking at group proposals from all political groups. Half a year ago, all parties said that there was no compulsory vaccination. Yes, vaccination is the central tool. And that’s why we have to look at which ways there are.

FDP-Bundestag Vice-President Wolfgang Kubicki and 20 other MPs have filed a motion against the compulsory vaccination. Did you know about it?
Yes, we will of course coordinate this question. In my opinion, it is perfectly legitimate for members of our group to reject the general compulsory vaccination. Many in the FDP are still hesitating on the question. It is therefore important for us in Parliament to have a transparent debate on this that the public can understand. This approach has already been successful with other medical-ethical issues such as organ donation and euthanasia. Party politics is out of the question. Every MP has to decide according to his or her conscience.

Wolfgang Kubicki

Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) and 20 other MPs have filed a motion against mandatory vaccination.

(Foto: imago images/Political-Moments)

The debate has been going on for a while, however. Does the urgency of the corona crisis allow the time that the traffic light parties take to make a decision?
Yes. Vaccination requirements do not have a short-term, but a medium-term effect in combating pandemics. That’s why I assume that we will go into decision-making intensively in January. Then the expert hearings begin, which are very important for the debate. From my point of view, however, it is not yet clear when the decision will ultimately be made.

However, experts have been speaking about this for months. FDP leader Lindner also tends to make vaccinations compulsory, the majority of the population is in favor. Where are you undecided?
I am undecided when it comes to the question of how often it is necessary to re-vaccinate – and whether we will eventually find ourselves in a situation in which a vaccine enables permanent protection. Are we talking about a single mandatory vaccination – or multiple? And from what age does it apply? These – also medical – questions form the basis for the political decision. And here I am still missing answers.

In your opinion, will the country get through the pandemic without compulsory vaccination – also with a view to the new Omikron variant?
It is simply not possible to say conclusively at the moment. Here, too, we need more knowledge. At Omikron, they’re just coming. In the beginning the new variant was a high health risk, now a higher infection is feared. We are still in the middle of the learning process.


On Thursday, Finance Minister Lindner presented the supplementary budget of 60 billion euros, he has credit authorizations for the corona crisis in the climate and Transformation fund pushed. What do you think of such creative bookkeeping?
As long as we are in the emergency mechanism of the debt brake, the goal must be to end it as quickly as possible. We want to comply with the debt brake again in 2023 and end the budget crisis. And the measures that we want to finance with the loans pay off precisely – by getting the economy going again.

The Union parliamentary group has at least announced a constitutional lawsuit against the finance minister’s plans. How do you see the chances of success?
The Union should actually sue itself. Because last year, as I said, she even took on additional debts in order to then put them into a special fund. I also advise against dragging the debt brake in order to finance investments, as the Union is proposing. It would be extremely difficult to undo that. In general, our measures must be geared towards focusing on growth in order to get out of debt and not have to burden the taxpayer additionally.

Because you are addressing the burden: will the traffic light coalition maintain the 40 percent guarantee on social security contributions?
One factor is very important here: namely, a targeted immigration policy into the labor market. We are heading for a dramatic demographic where the baby boomers will retire. Without significant immigration of 400,000 workers per year, we will not be able to stabilize the social security systems. Then social security contributions will also increase significantly. This must be prevented.

But you don’t want to give a guarantee?
We want the burden on employers and employees to stop rising. That is the goal. And by that you can measure the traffic light government.

More: Why the traffic light in EU financial policy is heading for a balancing act

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