Martina stamm-fibich, 47, was born in erlangen, is an exempt works council member at siemens helathcare and the mother of two children aged 13 and 17. Renate schmidt even thinks she could become a minister. After the SPD nomination meeting last friday in buckenhof, she took time out for a few questions.
FT: you are now the candidate for the constituency of erlangen and elangen-hochstadt. Did they expect such a good result?
Martina stamm-fibich: i hoped it would be a clear result. That it has now come so well, I am extraordinarily pleased. A crude vote of confidence by the party.
When does the election campaign begin for you??
Today. But first i have to say that i don’t use the word "campaign" for herzogenaurach actually find grasslich. That sounds too aggressive and disparaging to me. I find "preparations for the federal election" is more aptly. I have already made the experience the last time in 2009. As an elected candidate, this is of course a completely different focus from yesterday. After all, we want to win the constituency next year. I think it will really start after the summer.
If you were to meet with SPD party leader sigmar gabriel at one of the election events, which policy area would you tell him is the most urgent area of work in the event of a change of government??
Work and social affairs, for sure.
In their speech to the erlangen delegates, they mainly spoke on labor market issues. In the process, they spoke of the "supposedly excellent labor market figures" spoken. What do you mean?
Of course, the figures you hear from the labor market sound excellent. Here in our constituency, we are almost fully occupied. But i say that too many part-time employees and mini-jobbers have been left out of the statistics. Whether the figures correspond with the reality of working life, I dare to doubt. Above all, they still say nothing about the working conditions and the employment contracts of the people.
As far as low-wage employment and precarious working conditions are concerned, you also see a share of responsibility for your own party in the past?
For sure, mistakes were also made on our side in the red-green coalition or the grand coalition, no question about it. By the way, I always talk about this openly. Above all with the mini-jobs must be improved absolutely. There is also a lot to be corrected with regard to the payment and position in the company of the temporary workers. The keyword is equal pay, i.E. "Equal pay for equal work.
Renate schmidt was a guest today and virtually showered her with praise. What do you think about schmidt’s idea of you as a minister??
I have a lot in common with renate. She was also involved in the works council. She also had to juggle her family and her job. We have both had more or less the same experience. I know renate very well. She is not the kind of person who would lightly lavish praise on someone. That is why I was very honored by your words. But far be it from me to claim that I want to become a minister. I have been nominated today as a candidate for the SPD and would like to represent the people here in my constituency as a deputy.
With peer steinbruck, frank walter steinmeier and sigmar gabriel, the SPD currently has three potential candidates for chancellor. In your speech, you mentioned that you joined the SPD in 1994, which you had in common with the minister-president of north rhine-westphalia. Were they buried if hannelore kraft, contrary to her announcement, perhaps switches to the league after all and the trio becomes a quartet?
I think hannelore kraft is a very capable woman. I think she will stand by her word, which she gave to the burgers in NRW, to take full care of the state’s interests. This is not meant to sound sweeping, but I have made the experience that women tend to keep their promises. In general, I would like to see more women at the top of politics. I thought it was good to finally have a woman as minister of finance or aubenminister.
Do you have a preference among the possible candidates for the SPD troika??
I think we had a good candidate for chancellor in peer steinbruck.
Do you think that a majority of your party also sees it that way??
Why not? Peer steinbruck is a proven financial expert. Since I assume that the crisis in the financial system will continue to occupy us for a long time and that discussions such as the fiscal pact will not abate, I believe that we were well positioned with peer steinbruck.
Of course, I also think frank walter steinmeier is an excellent politician. He has done an excellent job as aubenminister. And all the talk about the so-called "election loser steinmeier" I cannot understand.
Bavarian minister president horst seehofer is seeking a lawsuit against the state fiscal equalization scheme. Do you also think that bavaria is the paymaster of the republic??
I have to tell you that I have a particularly emotional reaction to this topic. I find it disgraceful how horst seehofer treats solidarity within the republic. It was the CSU that negotiated the fiscal equalization not so long ago. I still see it today that stoiber stood up and boasted that it was his success. But the CSU only wants to distract from the disaster at the landesbank. It is also stupid to compare the figures from the 1970s with those of today. Bavaria was a borrowing state, but to compare the DM and the euro and the present time with that time is not serious.
So you don’t think that something needs to be reformed in the financial flows between the countries?
I would wait until the fiscal equalization is properly renegotiated. Until then, I will leave it untouched. The state financial equalization is not the weal and woe of bavaria. There are completely different problems. I see it as unspeakable to criticize other federal states, such as north rhine-westphalia, for not charging tuition fees because this is supposedly a luxury. The CSU also has the possibility to abolish the fees today if they want to. But the fact that, with the disastrous results of the bavarian government, a stadium in carinthia, for example, was co-financed to the tune of millions, while the young people in the country have to pay fees for access to their education, is not mentioned. As I said, for me it is a distraction manover.
I see with melancholy what will become of upper franconia. We in central franconia are doing comparatively well in terms of jobs and infrastructure. Just the other day I was in the countryside behind kronach on the thuringian border. There it needs massive structural policy. I think mr. Seehofer would be better off doing his homework in his own state instead of telling others what to do.
Your party demands the introduction of elements of direct democracy. What do you think about the direct participation of burghers in political decisions??
Only at the last federal party conference was a change in the basic law discussed again. I see a real chance for more citizen participation in the next legislative period. Of course the details have to be right. For example, the quorums must be high enough. Why should I generally have a problem with a decision being made directly-democratically?? A member of parliament must make his decisions close to the people, talk to the people on the ground. Of course, I see a problem in the fact that not every topic can be answered with a clear yes or no, as is the case with a referendum. But more burgerinitiativen are only desirable.
Last week i had the opportunity to talk to your competitor from the pirate party. Are you a digital person? Use facebook and twitter?
Politically, I’ve been on facebook since the last election. I do not use twitter. Of course, this is part of today’s world, but I think we should use the medium we know best. By the way, i found out that andreas waas is also an employee at siemens like me, even in the same area of the company. Personally, however, I do not know him.
What do you think of the pirate party?
What I don’t understand is their accusation that the parties were all worked out in back rooms. That is not the reality of politics that I know. Was the nomination event this evening a closed society?? Not at all. Burghers are always welcome to come to party events. Whoever wants to talk to us can always do so. Also a guest membership on probation or just to come by the stammtisch, we buried expressively. No sign of a back room.
Even something like the concept of an unconditional basic income, which some pirates are calling for, is so far only a rather vague matter.
What do you think has made the pirates so successful so far??
The net, clearly. Of course it is charming to post two lines somewhere in the net. But whether this does justice to complex, political contents, I dare to doubt.
If you hadn’t just been elected as your party’s candidate for the bundestag, what were you doing on a friday evening like this instead??
A colleague of mine celebrates his birthday today. I will check back now.
The questions asked by christian bauriedel.