• Germany edition
 
Embattled Rösler tries to rally sinking FDP
Photo: DPA

Embattled Rösler tries to rally sinking FDP

Published: 06 Jan 2013 20:54 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Jan 2013 20:54 GMT+01:00

Rösler, who is also vice chancellor and economy minister in the centre-right coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, urged unity among his pro-business FDP two weeks before the state vote and ahead of general elections in September.

With the party polling at below the five percent threshold for seats in Lower Saxony's parliament, Rösler told the FDP's traditional Epiphany meeting that criticism of the party chairman went with the territory.

"I have no problem with it," he told the gathering in the southwestern city of Stuttgart.

"Credibility is always also a question of style, fairness, solidarity," Rösler said with an eye to his critics, adding he now expected a sign "that we, together, are ready to fight."

The FDP chairman could face a challenge to his leadership shortly after the election in Lower Saxony on January 20.

German Development Minister Dirk Niebel told delegates that things could not continue as they were for the Free Democrats. "It tears me up inside when I see the state of my party," he said.

But he added: "We are, as a team, not constructed yet well enough."

And he complained that it was too long to wait until May when the party's political conference is scheduled to take place for the FDP to decide on its future leadership.

Merkel, who hopes to clinch a third term in power in September, faces having to find another coalition ally if the FDP's fortunes do not improve. But she reiterated on a visit to Wilhelmshaven in Lower Saxony on Friday that her Christian Democratic Union wanted to stay in coalition with the FDP both in the northwestern state and nationally.

The FDP peaked in the 2009 national election grabbing more than 14 percent of the vote and formed a coalition with the CDU but has seen its ratings dwindle amid internal squabbling and political strategies that have backfired.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

01:24 January 7, 2013 by Tonne
Why does the FDP hold a meeting at Epiphany? Are they expecting to be given gifts or to witness the second coming? Either way it would seem that they were disappointed.
20:56 January 7, 2013 by raandy
Damn, Rösler talk about dropping the ball.
Today's headlines
Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,525
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd