Rebels spread call for Schroederoverthrow by email

6th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

6 August 2004 , BERLIN - Top German Social Democrats have assailed party rebels for spreading an email that calls for the overthrow of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and a return to pro-worker policies. The progress of the chain letter, passed by leftist Social Democrats to their friends with a plea to keep it spreading, was reported by a German newspaper, the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. It was not clear how many party rank and file supported it. The letter appealed for Social Democrats to unite to "get

6 August 2004

BERLIN - Top German Social Democrats have assailed party rebels for spreading an email that calls for the overthrow of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and a return to pro-worker policies.

The progress of the chain letter, passed by leftist Social Democrats to their friends with a plea to keep it spreading, was reported by a German newspaper, the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. It was not clear how many party rank and file supported it.

The letter appealed for Social Democrats to unite to "get rid of Schroeder", accusing him of abandoning the party's tradtional social democracic principles. The person named in the letter as a contact, trade unionist Eva Guerster of Cologne, could not be reached for comment.

Klaus Uwe Benneter, the party general secretary in Berlin, called the letter "disgraceful" and charged that its authors were people who had been rejected in elections for party office.

"If they can't win a following at party conferences, they have no right to smear the work of the government and the party," he said.

Leading leftists, who have publicly attacked Schroeder, contending his reform policies are pro-business, dissociated themselves from the letter. Michael Mueller said, "The authors have noting to do with us of the left."

In Cologne, party sources said the chain letter first showed up at the start of July, but few party supporters had heard of it.

Schroeder earlier this year abandoned his chairmanship of the Social Democrat Party SPD, admitting he was fed up with carping from the rank and file against his economic reform policies, and said he would continue as chancellor with a lieutenant being party leader.

Both the party's hard left and its trade union wing have mulled splitting off from the SPD and founding a traditional Social Democrat party.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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