Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


German Greens Finding Governing A Big Ask

The German Green Party, almost in free-fall at the polls, is being warned to start acting like a governing party in a modern democracy, more than the anarchic, pacifist, anti-nuclear militants they were when the party was founded. John Howard reports.

Germany's Greens hold a party congress this weekend amid concerns that they are not facing up to working with political reality.

The Greens have been almost in free-fall in popularity and clout since taking power with the Social Democrats (SPD) after legislative elections in September 1998.

Greens Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, is pushing for a more pragmatic line, the so-called "realo" point of view, against fundamentalists known as "fundis."

The problem is that divided and fractious at the best of times, the Greens, Germany's third main political party, are looking in bad shape after 17 months in the federal German government.

Their views appear to count for little with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

In the September 1998 general elections the Greens won 6.7 percent of the vote (and the SPD 40.9 percent). This was already well down on the 11 percent they were enjoying in opinion polls earlier in that year.

In the Berlin state election last October 10, they slid to 9.9 percent compared to to 13.2 percent in a similar vote in 1995.

No issue highlights the Greens dilemma more than their pledge to abandon nuclear energy they had written in their coalition contract with the SPD before forming a centre-left, "red-green" Government in October 1998 under Gerhard Schroeder.

Greens co-leader Juergen Tritten was given the environment ministry but he quickly ran into trouble with Schroeder as he pushed for a quick shut-down of Germany's nuclear power reactors.

Tritten backed down on this as well as his attempt to immediately end contracts with Britain and France for reprocessing nuclear fuel, which Schroeder said would be not only illegal but bad for business.

And only this week, just days before the Greens congress opens in Karlsruhe, they openly bickered over a government move to give guarantees for three major exports of nuclear technology, including one 300-million-mark contract with China.

The Greens Foreign Minister, as well as the Greens parliamentary whips, defended the move since 11 other projects had already been refused export credits.

This has set the stage for what Greens Secretary General, Reinhard Buetikofer, told reporters would be "an exciting party congress."

One of the main themes of the party congress is reforming the Green party structure.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news