German politician: "The war against Serbia was wrong. Stock of beer evacuated first"
One of the two holders of the list of the German Left in the parliamentary elections, Janine Wissler, admitted that bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 was a mistake.Source: DW
Namely, in an interview with Deutsche Welle, she was asked why the Left is considered friendly towards Vladimir Putin, she drew a parallel with the former FR Yugoslavia.
"It makes a big difference whether you have sympathy for someone or you think you should not go into military escalation against a country. I had no sympathy for Milosevic, but I thought the war against Serbia was wrong. That is the difference," Wissler said.
The German Ministry of Development has suspended payments to Afghanistan, which should hit the Taliban regime hard. After the United States, Germany was the most important source of development aid for Afghanistan. This year alone, 375 million euros were planned for co-operation with official Kabul, and another 75m for civil society projects. Now, all that should remain is only humanitarian aid of 100 million euros.
"I am against completely cutting off the funds for development cooperation. This is about the people, who are now suffering both at the hands of the Taliban, and from the terrible humanitarian situation on the ground. Of course, we need to keep an eye on what happens next," she told DW. Wissler sharply criticized the fact that the evacuations from Kabul started too late.
"That's a shabby way to treat the local staff. They're flying 65,000 liters of beer out of there, but when it comes to the people that were working for the Bundeswehr and for other German institutions — the human rights activists, women's rights activists — they're being left to fend for themselves," Wissler pointed out.
Ahead of Germany's troop pullout at the end of June, the military implemented an alcohol ban for its troops and flew its stock of beer, wine and other spirits out of Afghanistan. Reports at the time said the military was concerned about potential attacks and didn't want German soldiers drinking.
"The government have endangered human lives with their actions. I worry that they were just looking to hold out until after the election," Wissler said.
She accused the ruling Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats of wanting to make things more difficult until the elections, so that they would not have to talk about migration in the middle of the campaign.
"They were trying to avoid a debate on migration in Germany before the election, and in doing so, they put peoples' lives at risk", Wissler concluded.
Still against NATO
While the Left Party is unlikely to lead a government, recent opinion polls suggest they could be a player in coalition talks — potentially with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the environmentalist Greens.
This poses the question, what is the coalition potential of the Left? For example, that party has always advocated Germany's withdrawal from NATO and against all military interventions.
In an interview with DW last week, Olaf Scholz, Germany's vice-chancellor and the SPD's chancellor candidate said that remaining a member of NATO was crucial to government talks.
But those are positions that the Left Party isn't interested in giving up, Wissler said "After the catastrophe we are experiencing in Afghanistan, it seems to me that there is one party that does not have much reason to change its foreign policy positions, and that is the party of the Left," says Wissler.
"It would be more correct if, after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold War, we saw together whether we could create a different international security architecture, which would include Russia. That would make more sense", Wissler added of the Left's general skepticism towards NATO.