Schroeder mourns huge loss of SPD members
19 August 2005, BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Thursday admitted sorrow over the huge loss of members in his Social Democratic Party with exactly one month until German elections which all polls say he will lose.
19 August 2005
BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Thursday admitted sorrow over the huge loss of members in his Social Democratic Party with exactly one month until German elections which all polls say he will lose.
"What hurts me is that many Social Democratic Party (SPD) members have not yet seen the necessity for reform," said Schroeder in an interview with Germany's ZDF TV.
The Chancellor admitted he was sad that the SPD had lost so many members since he came to power in 1998 at the head of a centre-left coalition with the Greens.
According to ZDF, the SPD had 775,000 members when Schroeder became chancellor but how has just 600,000 members.
In addition, 11 out of Germany's 16 Laender, or federal states, were SPD-ruled when Schroeder took the helm. Now just four Laender have SPD governments.
All opinion polls show Schroeder's coalition is set to lose the planned September 18 general election.
Nevertheless, Schroeder appeared upbeat and he insisted that his reforms - which have cost him left-wing support - were vital for the nation.
"If one does not undertake action at a historic moment, one will be overtaken," said Schroeder, adding that the success of his tax cuts and labour market reforms would probably take longer to kick in than he had planned.
Germany's general election will be held on September 18 pending a final green light from the country's highest court.
Subject: German news