Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Sunday’s federal election threw Germany’s Greens into a state of disarray — should they celebrate their best result ever or mourn the fact they failed to prevent a centre-right coalition and languished in fifth place?
“A Victory that is a Defeat”, “Triumph and Bitterness”, “Celebrations despite missing goal,” read newspaper headlines on Monday. (Photo: Kuenast and Trittin, top candidates of the Greens party, arrive on stage after the general election, Sept 27, Reuters/Ralph Orlowski)
The Greens, one of the world’s most successful environmental parties, won more than a tenth of the vote — not bad for a party whose members entered parliament as revolutionary rebels in the 1980s flourishing potted plants and sporting woolly jumpers.
“We feel strengthened in our fight for ecological modernisation, social justice and civil rights by the best result we have ever had,” co-leader Juergen Trittin told hundreds of party faithful on Sunday evening at the Greens headquarters in Berlin.
The last time Germany went to the polls, Wolfgang Clement was deputy head of the Social Democrats (SPD), and one of the most powerful figures in government: the “super minister” in charge of both economic and labour market policy, who had previously governed the SPD heartland of North-Rhine Westphalia, home to 18 million people.
Four years on, Clement is urging the public to vote for one of the centre-left SPD’s most bitter rivals, the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP).
With two weeks to go before Germany holds an election, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have unveiled a new set of election posters, depicting Merkel, Merkel, and more Merkel.
Rather than campaigning on the issues highlighted in their election programmes, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) are keeping it simple and hoping to capitalise instead on the popularity of their leader, Germany’s first female chancellor.
Having traded in their woolly sweaters, jeans and sandals for dapper suits and shiny shoes, Germany’s Greens are ready for business, claiming that to be the “party that truly knows its economics”.
The world’s most successful environmental party is eager to get back into power at the federal election on Sept. 27 after a first stint in coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) from 1998 to 2005.
Under Adolf Hitler, the Nazis tried to extinguish the culture and language of the Sorbs.
This week, a member of Germany’s indigenous Slavic minority won a state election for the first time. Stanislaw Tillich’s victory puts him firmly in control of Saxony, the most populous eastern state – and looks likely to catapult the 50-year-old to the front ranks of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU).