Greening German politics

The Green party, until recently the dark horse of German politics, is finally sitting pretty in the Bundestag, after years in the radical fringe

Published: Wednesday 30 November 1994

Leading star: Joschka Fischer< AFTER a gap of 4 uneventful years, the Greens have emerged as a strong force in the German parliament bagging 7.3 per cent of the vote. "We can remove the current government if necessary. I don't exclude its collapse during the next 4 years," said the jubilant co-leader of the party, Ludger Volmer.

The poll predictions were favourable right from the outset. The Greens, so far satisfied with the joker's role, appeared provocative and entertaining. Although they were not considered strong contenders, headed by the maverick Joshka Fischer (formerly a taxi driver and now environment minister in Hesse), the party campaigned vigorously. Fischer's mainstay was radical environmental reforms. He demanded immediate closure of Germany's nuclear power plants and imposition of stringent highway speed limits.

But the "fundamentalist" wing of the party (termed as the Fundis), felt. Fischer was watering down the on ideals. They reiterated at a convention their demand for sharp cuts in military expenditure, withdrawal from North Atlantic Treaty Organization and a ban on the German participation in the UN peacekeeping missions. Embarrassed by such comments fearing a backlash from the electorate, a top German leader explained: know that conventions are a bit. Things will be different if we responsible for helping to government the country."

Despite these internal contradictions, the voters chose to give the Greens With a parliamentary representation of 49 members, the Greens now appoint 1 of the 4 deputy speakers.

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