07.06.2022, Berlin: Christian Lindner (FDP), Bundesminister der Finanzen, gibt ein Statement zur Übergewinnsteuer im Finanzministerium. Foto: Fabian Sommer/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The FDP has rejected allegations that the car manufacturer Porsche allegedly exerted influence on party leader Christian Lindner on the question of the future of combustion engines during the coalition negotiations. Lindner’s position on the further use of synthetic fuels (e-fuels) has been “known for years,” the party said on Saturday.

During the coalition negotiations in October, there was “only a short phone call” between the future Federal Minister of Finance and Porsche boss Oliver Blume “on questions about the use of e-fuels”.

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The ZDF satirical magazine “Die Anstalt” published quotes from Blume from a works meeting in June this week. Blume, who will become head of the Volkswagen Group on September 1, is said to have said that Porsche played a “very large part” in the further use of synthetically produced e-fuels for combustion engines being included in the coalition agreement. Lindner “kept him up to date almost every hour”.

A spokesman for Porsche AG expressed the company’s regret to the “Welt am Sonntag” newspaper. “During an internal event in June, exaggerated formulations were made, and we apologize for that,” he told the newspaper. “The choice of words does not correspond to the facts. The exchange did not take place and there was no influence.”

An FDP spokesman explained that Lindner “also spoke to the heads of vehicle manufacturers who do not support e-fuels”. “As far as we know, the companies have also held such talks with the negotiators of the coalition partners. This is also correct in view of the importance of the German automotive industry, on whose future the jobs of millions of employees depend directly and indirectly.”

However, the Left Party warned of a threat to democracy. “It cannot be that the Porsche boss was apparently better informed about the status of the coalition negotiations than the rest of the population,” said the parliamentary director of the left-wing faction in the Bundestag, Jan Korte, of the “Welt am Sonntag”. “That would be a further erosion of democracy.” The thing has “at least a ‘taste'”.