I want us to be able to preserve our level of prosperity. We must constantly remind ourselves that Germany has been eating into its capital. It is only through successful management that we can once again secure our foundation of prosperity and social security.
The Freedom Bell in Berlin is, like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, a symbol which reminds us that freedom does not come about of itself. It must be struggled for and then defended anew every day of our lives.
Personally, I think that for example the chemical directive in its present form does too much damage to the chemical industry - especially the medium sized businesses - and will hurt our worldwide competitiveness.
I'm a person who acknowledges reality. I don't get up every morning and ask myself: What would I do differently if I were chancellor in a black-and-yellow (Christian Democrat and Free Democrat) coalition? The SPD (Social Democratic Party) and the (Christian Democrat and Christian Social) Union stand to weaken their own positions if they don't make this coalition a success. And we both want success.
The role of the opposition leader differs from that of the chancellor. If this government is to be successful, I have to take the emotional state of all partners into account. Besides, the Social Democrats didn't exactly present me with the motto "Let us dare to have more freedom" on a silver platter.