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After demands for resignation: Lafontaine defends appearance with Sarrazin

BERLIN. Former left-wing party leader Oskar Lafontaine has defended his participation in an event with publicist Thilo Sarrazin. "Where are we going if we no longer discuss with politicians who have completely contrary views, as long as they are not Nazis?" asked Lafontaine according to Neues Deutschland (ND) .

The parliamentary group leader of the Left Party in the Saarland state parliament took part in a discussion on Monday in Munich at the invitation of Sarrazin's Publisher on his new book “The State on Its Borders. On the impact of immigration in the past and present ” . The former CSU deputy chief Peter Gauweiler also took part. Lafontaine compared, among other things, the cost of an unaccompanied minor refugee with the earnings of a German pensioner, reported Bayerischer Rundfunk.

He explained that an immigrant child costs around 5,000 euros a month. He couldn't explain that to a social pensioner. Germany spends too much money on too few people in need. For the performance, Lafontaine had received harsh criticism from party friends. "Someone who shares a podium with racists like Sarrazin and plays off the interests of refugees against German pensioners is not allowed to hold any public office for the left," demanded the member of the Left Board, Lucy Redler, reported Der Spiegel.

Left-wing extremist party association demands consequences
The party association “Anti-Capitalist Left” (AKL) , classified as a left-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution , also called on Lafontaine to resign. "The AKL demands that Oskar Lafontaine immediately resigns all political offices in which he would have to represent the politics of the left."

Lafontaine told ND that, contrary to Sarrazin's theses, he was of the opinion “that the middle classes benefit, while the poorest have disadvantages - in the countries of origin due to the emigration of well-trained skilled workers and in the receiving countries due to the resulting pressure in the low-wage sector and rising rent".

Other left-wing politicians also sharply criticized Lafontaine. The Bundestag member Niema Movassat wrote on Twitter: “It really couldn't be more disgusting. Oskar Lafontaine appears together with the racist Sarrazin and says that children who have fled cost too much. Stepping on the poorest and playing them off against other poor people is unacceptable."

"I always had a very bad feeling about Lafontaine"
The Deputy President of the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt, Wulff Gallert, said: “From 2007 at the latest, I always had a very uneasy feeling about Lafontaine. His appearance together with Sarrazin confirms me in retrospect in a way that I did not wish for. "

Sarrazin had been excluded from the SPD, among other things, because of his statements critical of Islam and immigration. In his recently published book, the former Berlin Senator for Finance sheds light on the history of immigration and criticizes the view that there is a moral claim to immigration.

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