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Schröder To Ask For Confidence Vote July 1

Chancellor Schröder to ask for confidence vote in parliament

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

In a meeting held Monday evening (May 23) with opposition parliamentary group leaders Angela Merkel (CDU), Michael Glos (CSU), and Wolfgang Gerhardt (FDP) Chancellor Gerhard Schröder made it clear that the parties will need sufficient time to prepare for a general election a year ahead of schedule and that it cannot be held until after the school vacation periods in the various states are over. Based on the procedures and timing required by the constitution Schröder plans to ask for a vote of confidence in parliament on July 1.

Chancellor Schröder made the following statement Sunday evening (May 22), after a crushing defeat for his party in the North Rhine-Westphalia state election:

"Germany finds itself in a profound process of change. We are having to adapt our country to the requirements of the 21st century under the special conditions facing us as we overcome the effects of the division of Germany. We have taken key policy decisions in this regard with the Agenda 2010 reform program.

We have taken necessary steps to make our social security systems viable for the future and to strengthen the competitiveness of German industry. These are indispensable prerequisites for more growth and employment in Germany. Initial successes in this regard are evident.

But it will take time before these reforms have a positive effect on the living conditions of everyone in our country. We need the support of the people for a policy of this kind. The basis for continuing our work has been called into question by the negative election result for my party in North Rhine-Westphalia.

I consider it necessary to have the clear support of a majority of Germans for the continuation of what, in my view, are essential reforms. As such, I feel it is my duty and responsibility as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany to ask the President to make use of the procedures provided for by the constitution in order to hold a new general election at the earliest possible date, which in realistic terms would mean this fall."

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