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Berlin (dpa) – The top candidate of the FDP for the European elections has held the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) responsible for problems facing companies in the EU and for military weakness. “In the IHK business barometer for the European elections, only five percent of German industrial companies said that the EU has become a more attractive location in the past five years,” criticized Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann on Saturday at the FDP federal party conference in Berlin. “How can one simply offer oneself for re-election as Commission President after such a vote of no confidence from our economy?”

Von der Leyen’s policy follows the pattern that everything needs to be regulated multiple times. The CDU politician also avoids the voters. “Ms. von der Leyen does not face the citizens. She does not travel through the country,” said Strack-Zimmermann. “Politics must be close to the people. It must be market-economy minded. And that is not always comfortable.”

Strack-Zimmermann, who is the chairperson of the defense committee in the Bundestag, accused von der Leyen, of not having sufficiently committed herself to military cooperation and strengthening in the EU during her tenure. “As a former Defense Minister, Ms. von der Leyen did not take care of Europe’s security, although the signals from the United States were clear that the European Union also needs to deliver more, do more within NATO,” said Strack-Zimmermann. “As a former Labor Minister, Ms. von der Leyen cared little about the economy and especially not about the middle class. Without its success, jobs are lost at companies due to the terrible conditions and this creepy bureaucracy.”