Greens fight for every vote, even against SPD
14 September 2005, BERLIN - Germany's Greens are fighting for every vote in Sunday's elections, even if it means taking support from their coalition partners, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD).
14 September 2005
BERLIN - Germany's Greens are fighting for every vote in Sunday's elections, even if it means taking support from their coalition partners, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD).
In an interview published in Wednesday's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, the party's chairman warned that a vote for the SPD could paradoxically propel conservative Christian Democrat candidate Angela Merkel into the chancellor's office.
"People voting for the SPD don't know what they will get in the end," Reinhard Buetikofer said, pointing to the possibility of a "grand coalition" between the SPD and the Christian Democrats.
Merkel's alliance of the CDU with its Bavarian sister party the CSU is set to gain 40 to 41 per cent of the vote, against 34 per cent for the SPD, according to the polls.
The arithmetic of the polls makes a grand coalition a likely outcome, despite the protestations of both Schroeder and Merkel.
"I'm issuing a warning against a grand coalition," Buetikofer said, suggesting that greater restrictions on civil liberties and an economic policy more favourable to business, as opposed to environmental, interests would result.
The Greens, who have enjoyed their first taste of power at national level over the past seven years, aim to prevent this at all costs.
"With Merkel in the chancellor's office, social progress and a sensible policy on climate change will be obstructed," Buetikofer said.
He noted that the Greens had had to fight against SPD opposition for all the environmental decisions taken by the coalition over its years in power.
Subject: German news