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Greens meet German Green Minister Joschka Fischer

3 February 2005

MEDIA ADVISORY: PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

Greens to meet German Green Minister Joschka Fischer

During his brief visit to New Zealand next Wednesday (9 February), German Deputy Chancellor, Foreign Affairs Minister and Green MP Joschka Fisher will meet the Co-Leaders of New Zealand's Green Party.

Coalition politics will be the main topic of conversation: how coalitions can be made to work, why the German SocialDemocrats-Green coalition is so stable and successful, and which Green policies have been implemented.

The meeting will take place from 10.45am till 11.30am in Jeanette Fitzsimons' office (Level 18, Bowen House). There will be a photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting but, unfortunately, no time for questions.

Mr Fischer will be holding a press conference with the Prime Minister in the Beehive Theatrette in the afternoon.

Mr Donald said: "Joschka Fischer is without doubt the most influential Green politician in the world today. He is also the most popular politician in Germany, currently rating ahead of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder."

Mr Fischer joined the German Green Party in 1982, was elected to the German Parliament in 1983 (until 1985), and was re-elected in 1994. He has been Foreign Affairs Minister since 1998.

The German Green Party has been in coalition government with the Social Democrats since October 1998. The Greens currently have 55 MPs.

The latest German opinion poll has the Greens on 11 percent and their coalition partner, the SPD, on 35 percent. The CDU polled 37 percent and the FDP 8 percent. This is the first time since 2002 that the SocialDemocrat-Green coalition has had a slight majority over Christian Democrats and Liberals in the opinion polls.

ENDS

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