* Free Democrats aim for kingmaker role in coalition
* Latest polls suggest 5-7 percent support
* Party would sell stakes in Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Post
By Michael Nienaber and Thorsten Severin
BERLIN, March 31 Germany's business-friendly
Free Democrats (FDP) want to win back voters and become
kingmaker in coalition talks after a federal election in six
months by promising lower taxes, higher investment in
infrastructure and a tough stance on Turkey.
Recent polls put support for the FDP, which was the junior
coalition partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives
from 2009 to 2013, at 5 to 7 percent. That suggests it will get
enough support to cross the 5 percent threshold to enter the
Bundestag lower house of parliament in elections on Sept. 24.
Presenting the FDP's platform titled "No longer on the
sidelines", party leader Christian Lindner said the FDP wanted
to become the voice of the "impatient centre" of society by
emphasising self-responsibility and liberal values.
"People can do great things if you just let them," Lindner
told reporters, adding that the FDP's motto in the election
campaign would be 'German courage' instead of 'German angst'.
The FDP wants to manage the balancing act of lowering taxes
and increasing investment in education and digital
infrastructure by privatising state assets.
Lindner said the government could raise over 10 billion
euros by selling stakes in firms such as Deutsche Bahn,
Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post.
On foreign policy, the FDP called for the European Union to
quit membership talks with Turkey and freeze any further
financial aid to the government of President Tayyip Erdogan.
"For us, Turkey in its current state under the despotic
regime of Erdogan can no longer be a candidate for accession,"
FDP party secretary general Nicola Beer told reporters.
Lindner repeated his stance that Greece could only stay in
the euro zone and receive more financial aid from its European
partners if it implemented the structural reforms agreed in its
The likely alternative would be a debt cut, which would
result in its departure from the euro zone, he said.
Lindner said he wanted the party to regain its traditional
role as the decisive force in shaping a coalition government.
"I want to be the chancellor maker," he said.
Asked about possible coalition partners, Lindner only ruled
out joining forces with the anti-immigrant Alternative for
Germany (AfD) and the far-left Linke.
The FDP's power in state legislatures has been diminished in
recent years by the rise of other parties, including the AfD. It
failed to win enough votes for representation in the Bundestag
lower house of parliament in 2013.
(Editing by Julia Glover)