Bertinotti encourages Linke to join SPD coalition?
'The German elections give a new and big outburst [Ed. - 'Outburst'? Odd choice. Ah, Euronglish*] to the party of the European Left. The Linke successfully accomplishes an unprecedented undertaking in the history of the after war Germany: that of a mass consensus given to a party which places itself to the left of the biggest social democratic party on the continent.He also notes that the first congress of the European Left Party will take place in Athens at the end of October and that Lafontaine, Bisky and Gisy will take part.
'The Linke adherence to the Party of the European Left underlines the possibility and historical necessity of the growing of radical and alternative left in all European countries.'
Interestingly, Bertinotti critcises the SPD's consideration of a Grand Coalition with the CDU when the broad left won the election and seems to suggest that they consider a left coalition instead:
'The German Social Democrats face a choice of great responsibility: the clamorous defeat of the most convinced supporter of the neo-liberalist policies, the CDU of Merkel, would make the choice of a wide coalition more a dangerous social adventure, rather than a choice of stability.What exactly is he trying to say here? Could it be that Bertinotti is encouraging the Linkspartei to do what his own comrades in the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista have done vis-à-vis L'Unione? Or am I just reading too much into what is probably just a dig at the SPD?
'The great success of the Linke asks the SPD to have the courage to break with the moderate and anti-social policies. After all, in different shapes, this is the problem that reformists will be facing in the whole of Europe.'
Nonetheless, a release from the Linke I received at the same time all but explicitly (and quite rightly) rules out the possibility:
'The question of the future German government is open. There are three main variants: so-called street-light-coalitions of SPD, the Greens and FDP or CDU/CSU, FDP and the Greens as well as a grand coalition of SPD and CDU/CSU. The postponed voting in one Dresden constituency on 2 October with three seats can bring no principal change to the general picture. Be it that as it may, the Left Party.PDS will get a good chance to win a higher profile as the only consistent opposition force to the neo-liberal orientation of the German political class.'
'As Gregor Gysi stated at a press conference after the vote, the party will support neither the neo-liberal politics of Schröder, nor of Merkel.'
The release, from Helmut Ettinger and Helmut Scholz of the party's international department, also offers a more fleshed-out geographic breakdown of the party's support:
'Under difficult conditions, with a new partner, being fought by all the other parties and large parts of the media, it reached its main goal to enter parliament with its own group. The party could more than double its result of four per cent in 2002. The 8.7 per cent of the vote and 54 seats it received are an increase of 4.7 per cent and 52 seats.
'The best news is that the co-operation with the WASG worked fully, bringing about a result of a new quality, going far beyond the sum of the two organisations’ expected individual scores. Highly important is the overcoming of the five percent hurdle in most of the country, also in six of the ten lander of western Germany. In the western lander the party scored altogether 4.9 per cent of the vote Top results have been achieved in the Saarland (Oskar Lafontaine’s homeland) with 18.5 per cent, Bremen with 8.3 per cent or Hamburg with 6.3 per cent. In the East the Left Party.PDS received 25.4 per cent.
'Even in the lander with government participation, highly disputed among its followers, the Left Party.PDS got large increases: in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania 7.3 per cent (23.7 per cent altogether) and in Berlin five per cent (16.4 per cent altogether). The only two PDS deputies in 2002-2005, Petra Pau and Gesine Lötzsch, won their constituencies in Berlin again. The third direct mandate was taken by Gregor Gysi also in Berlin. [A total of] 30 deputies have been elected in the East, 24 in the west of the country.'
'This election has changed political life in Germany. For the first time since the 1950s there is a nation wide political force to the left of the SPD. The Left Party.PDS will continue fighting the dismantling of the German welfare state, the redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, the sending of German troops into military action abroad.'
* Euronglish: adj. 1. Of or relating to Euronglish. 2. Mechanical dialect of English spoken by fluent but non-native English speakers to other fluent but non-native English speakers, esp. in Europe. As more individuals speak Euronglish than its parent language, persistent differences between it and English 'proper' cannot said to be 'wrong', e.g., the word 'touristic'. See Europanto.