For the past 10 years, all of the cuts made in the public services have been justified with the argument that it was necessary to balance the German federal budget by the year 2011. This includes the anti-social measures (Agenda 2010) introduced by the previous Social Democratic Party-Green Party government.
Now, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück (Social Democrats—SPD) has made €26.5 billion available to bail out a single German bank. Overnight, his budget targets have been thrown overboard.
...[T]he argument: ... to undertake regrettable actions in order to prevent something even worse, and that there is no alternative to a national bailout of the banks because otherwise the entire financial system and economy would break down. At the same time, nobody can guarantee that the end of the crisis has been reached, and it is very likely that further billions will be required to rescue additional banks.
This attitude turns the state into the hostage of finance capital. It amounts to an open omission that the government serves the banks rather than the people—contrary to the official fiction of democracy.
There is, however, an alternative: The transformation of the banks into public utilities, without compensation to their owners and large shareholders, their democratic control by the people, and their subordination to the interests of society as a whole instead of the profit interests of a small elite. Those bankers responsible for the crisis, who have earned millions in the process, must be held accountable and stripped of their assets.