Joschka Fischer to return to back benches

20th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2005, BERLIN - Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer announced Tuesday after the German government's weekend election defeat he would not seek a prominent parliamentary role in his Greens party beyond serving as an ordinary member of the Bundestag.

20 September 2005

BERLIN - Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer announced Tuesday after the German government's weekend election defeat he would not seek a prominent parliamentary role in his Greens party beyond serving as an ordinary member of the Bundestag.

"I am not seeking any leading position, and the new leadership of the party has my full support," an emotional Fischer said, describing his step as a major break.

The Greens had to reposition themselves after Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's ruling coalition was thrown out of office in Sunday's elections, he said.

"There must be clarity over the personality question," Fischer, 57, told journalists, adding that it was time for the younger generation to take over.

"The nice thing about this decision is that I have now left all of you behind me," he said with a smile to reporters before leaving with a simple "Goodbye".

Fischer refused to respond to questions regarding the formation of a new ruling coalition and whether the Greens would play any role in this.

In what was seen as a message to Schroeder, who has said he wants to continue in office, despite securing fewer seats than the Christian Democrats, Fischer said: "There is no doubt that we do not have a majority."

He added that he could see no way forward to a new coalition under Schroeder.

The announcement appeared to bring to an end a career spanning more than 20 years. Fischer first served as environment minister in the state of Hesse from December 1985.

DPA

Subject: German news

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