Mr. Riexinger, your half-heartedly rejected statement by a party colleague about the shooting of the rich has caused maximum drama. Are you stepping back now?
Bernd Riexinger: I should have said straight away that the left wants to change society peacefully and democratically. But anyone who knows me knows that my entire life story and my political compass are completely clear. I’ve always been a passionate fighter for human and personal rights. So there is no reason to resign.
The newly elected Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow criticized you sharply. Such a statement should never have been passed over with a smile. Was it a foul for Ramelow?
IN THE INTERVIEW:
BERND RIEXINGERPhoto: Ben Gross Photography
Born in 1955, is a trained banker and worked for many years as a union secretary at Verdi. In 2012, the Swabian-born was elected chairman of the Left Party together with Katja Kipping. He has been a member of the Bundestag since 2017.
We discussed on the podium in Kassel that the rich have a larger ecological footprint and that large corporations are largely responsible for CO 2 emissions. The participant wanted to express that the challenges of the energy transition should not be reduced to the richest 1 percent of the population. However, her words were unacceptable. She apologized for that. I didn’t respond appropriately. I apologize for that.
What are the consequences of this?
Something like that must not happen again.
If Ramelow had lost the choice: Would you have been to blame?
Since all the groups have previously explained how they will vote, I do not see how that could have had an impact.
CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak sees the whole thing again as proof of why there can be no cooperation with the left.
This is a cheap and clumsy maneuver by the CDU, which is currently trying to identify itself from the left, supported by a campaign by the Springer press. The left has a clear relationship with democracy and human rights. We have always rejected the obligation to work, especially with the inhuman Hartz IV sanctions – in contrast to the CDU. We have long proven that nonviolence is the basis and constitution of our politics.
Indeed? Sometimes you have the feeling that double standards are used and that violence from the left, for example on demos, is quite okay
I reject violence as a political tool. We want to change society democratically. We promote that our positions find majorities. And that is also our social and political practice.
After these statements, but also after the latest complaint against the federal government, will it not be more difficult for the Left Party to find majorities? Your potential partners SPD and Greens rightly shake their heads.
I don’t think it will be more difficult. Everyone knows what the left stands for. It is wrong that such an opportunity is used to equate left and right again. But it doesn’t change the character of our politics. You will not find a statement from me, such as from Mr. Seehofer, who said that until the very last cartridge we would fight immigration into our social systems.