Volker Wissing is the man on the far left. On the now famous Selfie At the first four-way meeting of the Greens and Liberals, the 51-year-old FDP secretary-general is the one raising his smartphone to take a picture with Christian Lindner and the top Green duo Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck.
Wissing's name will be heard more often now: Lindner's general is not only through his party office a key figure for the next few weeks. Wissing, who holds a doctorate in law from Rhineland-Palatinate, is the man of the hour for the FDP, a seasoned negotiator who led the FDP into a traffic light alliance in Mainz, who has good connections to the Greens and, unlike many of his colleagues in the front row of politics, does not cultivate vanity.
Unlike the headstrong, opinionated FDP deputy Wolfgang Kubicki, Wissing is more the type of tight-lipped diplomat. While Kubicki has great fun with provocation and polarization and always speaks plainly, the secretary general is outwardly cool, distant and dry as a bone, but in personal contact not only cordial, but above all gifted with a fine, quiet humor. Wissing is the Anti-Kubicki.
Should the FDP find itself in the next Federal government Wissing could get a ministerial post. It is also conceivable, however, that he will end up being needed more as a faction leader.
Secret meeting with Malu Dreyer
Experience as State Minister he already has, after all: from 2016 until the state elections this spring, he was deputy head of government in Mainz and minister for economics, transport, agriculture and viticulture. Before that, Wissing sat in the Bundestag from 2004 to 2013 – most recently as chairman of the Finance Committee.
Eight years ago, when the FDP left the Bundestag had flown, Wissing founded a law firm. In 2016, after the state elections in Rhineland-Palatinate, a secret meeting with SPD election winner Malu Dreyer took place on their premises. She wanted to know if she could count on the FDP as a coalition partner. The discreet appointment held. In the end, there was the traffic light, it still works today.
Discreet, that's what Wissing can do: when asked what the yellow and green top duos would have talked about on Tuesday after the election, he replied in one sentence: "We decided to let a picture do the talking."