Socialist Worker

Greens make gains in German elections

by Stefan Bornost
Issue No. 2245

A political earthquake shook Germany on Sunday. The first Green head of a federal state was elected in Baden-Württemberg.

The Greens won 24 percent while the social democratic SPD polled 23 percent.

Red-Green coalitions have become common but it is the first time that the Greens have taken the lead.

The area has been run by the conservative CDU for 58 years. It is the industrial heartland of Germany.

The Greens swept to victory on a tidal wave of anger about nuclear energy. The movement has drawn hundreds of thousands into activity. And it has been strengthened by the disaster in Japan.

The day before the election, 250,000 people marched under the slogan, “Switch them off now!”, referring to the 17 nuclear plants in Germany.

In an attempt to ward off the worst before the elections, the conservative government shut the seven oldest nuclear plants. But it didn’t help.

The left party, Die Linke, missed the 5 percent hurdle to get into the state parliament.

The Greens were born out of this anti-nuclear movement and are benefiting from its revival.

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Tue 29 Mar 2011, 18:01 BST
Issue No. 2245
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