Andrea Ypsilanti: "The SPD women do not mess around like that"
For weeks it is fermenting in the SPD. How social should their politics be? Can I deviate from the Agenda 2010 agenda? Do you have to reform the reforms? The dispute is great, especially in party leader Kurt Beck and vice-chancellor Franz Müntefering. Although Beck spoke on the weekend at the SPD board meeting a power word and called for a ceasefire. But a few days later, the party colleagues munched on Müntefering doubted the affordability of the unemployment benefit for the elderly, Finance Minister Steinbrück warned against too many changes to the Agenda 2010. All the political heavyweights of the SPD have their say - only the SPD women, with a few exceptions, hear very little. ChroniquesDuVasteMonde.com spoke with the Hessian SPD's top candidate, Andrea Ypsilanti, about the reticence of the politicians in her party.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde.com: Why do not the politicians use the leadership dispute in the SPD to position themselves - like the male colleagues?
Andrea Ypsilanti: Well, just as little as you say, one does not hear from the SPD women. For example, in recent days I have been a much sought after interviewee. But in general, one has to say that women in politics are still more reserved than men. They are very objective-oriented, weighing, trying to find compromises. Men, on the other hand, argue a lot and fiercely, and sometimes like to repeat themselves, for example, in order to prolong meetings - which can be a big problem when the children are at home waiting.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde.com: Is not there a danger that the women with their modest nature will end up over the top dogs in the end?
Andrea Ypsilanti: In the meantime, there are some women who are at the very top of politics, Angela Merkel, for example, or Andrea Nahles, whom we will vote for on Friday at the top of the SPD. But in general, the top management is still very much influenced by men and by the male political style I just described. In my experience, it is very difficult for women to work with their way of working.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde.com: At the CDU / CSU women are currently talking about much more. Is the SPD lagging behind?
Andrea Ypsilanti: There are just two women at the CDU, Frau Merkel and Frau von der Leyen, who excel. And that the CSU now has a wife as Secretary General with Christine Haderthauer - well, that was also high time! We are much further in the SPD: We have had a women's quota for a long time, a lot more women in parliaments and now also some outstanding female executives. Take, for example, our Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul: It does an excellent job, you can only enthuse about that! But she is also rather reserved and does not rumble around like other politicians. It is a pity that women are less aware of this. There is still a lot to change here - also from the media.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde.com: Is the congress an opportunity for the SPD women to position themselves? Or will he just be a stage for self-actors like Kurt Beck?
Andrea Ypsilanti: Unfortunately, one has to say here that at such debates more men speak up than women. Women speak differently than men, that's also scientifically proven. It's not so easy to get in touch with this other style of speech and to speak in front of many people.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde.com: What are you personally hoping for from the convention?
Andrea Ypsilanti: I expect that we will take good decisions, such as extending unemployment benefit I and ecological economic policies, and that we will have good discussions. The SPD is a belligerent party and I like that. I do not want to belong to a party where everything is just bowed out. In addition, we will elect our party chairman and a new board, for which I will run as well. I think this party will create a mood of optimism that will do us good, especially next year's elections.
ChroniquesDuVasteMonde.com: What is your opinion on the decision to extend the payment of unemployment benefits for the elderly? Is not the SPD against a positive effect of Agenda 2010, namely, that older workers get more jobs again?
Andrea Ypsilanti: So I could never understand this debate. Nobody believes that it will have a negative effect on the economy if a few older unemployed people get the unemployment benefit I half a year longer.Nobody can tell me that an older person voluntarily refuses a job for this reason. Especially the elderly know very well that every single month in unemployment is a loss for them. It is simply a matter of justice for me that these people, who have paid into unemployment insurance for such a long time, are also adequately covered.
Andrea Ypsilanti on election campaign tour, here at the Hessentag 2007
She wants to challenge the Hessian CDU country prince Roland Koch and regain the power for the SPD in Hesse: Andrea Ypsilanti is the SPD's top candidate for the 2008 state election.
The policy of the 50-year-olds: left and socially engaged. Ypsilanti became known nationally in 2003 when she publicly criticized Gerhard Schröder's Agenda 2010. It is committed to more all-day schools, more money for the care of toddlers and wants to abolish the tuition fees in Hesse again.
Equal opportunities and social justice are their core themes - no wonder: Ypsilanti comes from a working-class family, her father worked at Opel in Rüsselsheim. She struggled to the top, worked first as a stewardess, then studied sociology and became head of department in the Hessian State Chancellery.
Today she herself lives a modern patchwork lifeHow she strengthens and promotes her politics: She is divorced and lives with son Konstantin and new friend in a multi-family shared flat.