Görlitz on the Polish border, untouched by the war and called by many the prettiest town in Germany, was told last week that Siemens factories there and in Leipzig are planning to close and to cut jobs in Erfurt and Berlin. They stumm stressed ecology and were good on gay rights, immigrants and equality for women. German Bundestag, plenum With four factors in the Bundestag, a balance was possible: They were a pretty radical bunch then, reflecting a giant West German peace movement which led over a million people on one day with many labor unions in demonstrations against stationing missiles in Germany. The Minister of Defense has set her sights on a super-modern European army with Germany leading the pack. Nobody wanted them; they could end up much the same as the September vote or perhaps bring more gains for an opponent. But she tried to lure the two onto the ship of state, so the four parties negotiated, bargained, argued, made compromises, rejected them, insulted each other and withdrew the insults, talked and talked for weeks and weeks. No-one would coalesce with them either as yet? One was a minority government, hitherto unknown on the federal level, with the chances of passing any law or decision dependent on which non-government parties would agree to support it.
Will the Social Democrats voice valiant words about favoring progressive policies and then once more be satisfied with a few ripples while going along with the conservative tide of Merkel and the toughies behind her? The problem is that a majority of delegates in the Bundestag is needed to pass laws or actions the government decides upon. They stumm stressed ecology and were good on gay rights, immigrants and equality for women. There will be quarrels. No-one would coalesce with them either as yet? All three did miserably in the election, but since the Union remained the strongest, Merkel is the one to form a new government — if she can! The third possibility is for the Social Democrats to swallow their pride and their brash words and slink back in again with the Merkel crowd as junior partners. Angela Merkel rejected this out of hand; she wanted no unstable force, open to pro or con pressures on her plans for Europe and beyond. With only two parties this would be easy; winner takes all! But on foreign policy they became the most belligerent of all, and they had almost no contacts with working class folk, who rarely voted for what became a party of well-off intellectuals.
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