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Crisis in Germany

Despite the comments by German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder following the defeat of the EU constitution in France and Holland, the German political establishment is in crisis.
The potential now exists for the establishment of a new broad left formation. Not to forget, last summer 100.000s protested all over germany (in about 200 towns and cities) each monday (for about 2 month) against welfare cuts planned by the schröder government and even against capitalism. By the way, unemployment rate e.g. in Berlin is now at about 25%. Though no country on the world produces and exports more goods than Germany, capitalism in Germany is in a deep crisis as it can´t solve the big problems of this country anymore.


Reports coming from Germany suggest that the German establishment now may be scapegoating the EU and the Euro for their economic ills.

The BBC has reported that a political storm has broken out in Germany over reports that the government may be distancing itself from the European single currency.

Stern magazine said that Finance Minister Hans Eichel had been present at a meeting where the "collapse" of monetary union was discussed.

The government is planning to blame the euro for Germany's economic weakness, the magazine added.

The report was dismissed by both the ministry and Germany's central bank.

See link for details:
 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4599681.stm

Following the disasterous results for the SPD (Social democrats) in regional elections the German government now faces a vote of confidence on July 1st that will likely lead to a General Election.

At the same time the WASG (Work and Social Justice- the Electoral Alternative), the new left party in Germany, stood in the North Rhine Westphalia elections for the first time and scored 2.2%, around 181,000 votes. Significantly, the WSAG scored 9% amongst the unemployed to become the third largest party amongst this part of the population.

Oskar Lafontaine, the former finance minister under the first term Schröder government, who resigned because he was in disagreement with the SPD's neo-liberal and hardcore-capitalistic policies, has finally sent back his SPD membership card and announced that he would be ready to stand on a ticket of an alliance which involves the WASG and the PDS (former SED, the communist party of former eastern germany).

According to the latest opinion polls, a left formation which involved Oskar Lafontaine would have the potential to win up to 18% of the vote, which underlines, once again, the desire for a genuine left force amongst a decisive section of the German working class.

Lafontaine's announcement poses big opportunities but also dangers. Understandably, there is a wish to achieve maximum unity amongst the left and opponents of neo-liberalism, to get the left elected into the Bundestag (parliament) in September and to strike a decisive blow against the establishment.



For more analysis see link:
 http://www.socialistworld.net/index.html
protest summer in germany? 03.Jun.2005 05:34

lena

about 1 year ago there were big protests at many universities all over germany. in berlin all 3 universities were 6 months on strike and partly occupied by the students. students also occupied ministries or corporate buildings. 10.000s marched each saturday.

u don´t have to pay any fees to study at university in germany. studying is for free. the protest were against fees which were planned by the government. the protests were succesfull. but now the government plans again fees for studying.

so it may sees that there will be a hot summer in germany this year.

significant development 03.Jun.2005 05:39

t. m.

i think germany is very interesting at the moment, especially the verbal attacks that leading spd members made against capitalism and especially international finance capital before the election in nrw. it shows the depth of opposition and that the spd leadership is most definitely worried about being punished by the working class as it fulfils the role of bridesmaid for german capitalism.

the editorial in the economist a few weeks ago was clearly offended when it responded to the spds chairman calling international finance capital "locusts", because who could describe international companies taking over german companies firing all the workers and making a huge profit anything like locusts!!

more significantly is the development of WASG and the clear potential alluded to above of a new working class party emerging from the struggle against agenda 2010 and hartz IV. comparatively with brazil and P-SOL thew development of WASG is clearly at a lower stage right now - but depending on the way the election goes in germany at a certain stage WASG could develop very quickly and significantly.

german capitalism is in crisis the latest copy of the economist gives figures for confidence of german business and it has dropped to a new low of 13-14 (historically to give an idea of what that figure really means the average for business in germany is 34), im not to sure how they calculate that figure but it is clear that business is not confident of the future in germany.

just to respond to above article respect in england and wales is nowhere near as developed as a conscious expression of working class politics as the ssp, not to mention WASG or P-SOL. Respect is more of anti-war expression than anything although i won't hesitate to add that a credible anti-war expression is a progression forward from what was there previously.

The above article is correct to point to the fact that we could see a breakthrough or development along similar lines here, though i would add a rejoinder that we mustn't get too far ahead of ourselves and that where this developmewnt might come from is still an open question (the water charges in north has clear potential to develop a political expression if the government really is stupid enough to bring them in).

My last point would be to describe a cringingly bad article by the international website of the socialist equality party (World Socialist Website) which describes WASG as a bunch of trade union bureaucrats who are sowing illusions in a parliamentary road to socialism and that it is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the spd! the experience of reformism in general has been discredited though that is not to say that the question of reformism is done and dusted but that history has shown that small reforms that will subsume and superseed capitalism to socialism will never work. on the question about the effect of the euro and germany, what has been more significant for germany has been the enlargement of the eu's common market as this has allowed the moving en masse of jobs to countries like czech republic and poland where there are people willing and able to do the work of the german working class but at a lower wage level. if anyone knows anymore about the effect of the euro on germany i would be reaqlly interested to hear about it.

In Germany?? Try the whole freaking world under the globalist structure!! 03.Jun.2005 12:07

lvq

Am I missing something or has the media so inundated our logic that we can't see beyond their imposed myopia anymore? Fist Bolivia thows out a globalization darling, then Ecuador, while the last 7 Latin American elections have all voted the left into power, then the French slap their globalist prostitute leaders and then the Dutch - HEY!! Do you guys need a comet to smash us in order to feel the groundswell? I mean, I know we are in the USA, the least politically aware piece of real estate on the planet but enough es enough. The world is not waking up; they did that some time ago; they are checking out to see who else is awake and elbowing each other while pointing at us and laughing as we snore our way into oblivion and to a theocon armaggedon. They are singing the Dylan verses now "And the foes will rise up, With the sleep still in their eyes, And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreaming, And like Pharoah's tribe they'll be drowned in the tide, like Goliaths they'll be conquered!!"