German Greens Historic Victory
March 28, 2011 in International Greens
A collection of stories about the historic elections for the German Greens:
“We have written history,” said Claudia Roth, joint leader of the Green party, speaking in Berlin after polls closed. Dressed head-to-toe in green, including glittery emerald ballet pumps, she said the result would have repercussions far beyond the borders of Baden-Württemberg. It was, she said, “a resounding slap in the face” for Merkel’s coalition.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition was defeated in its southwestern heartland as support for the Greens surged to a record, putting the anti-nuclear party within reach of leading the state government.
Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union took 39 percent in today’s election in Baden-Wuerttemberg, its worst result since 1952, while its Free Democratic Party allies won 5.3 percent, according to preliminary official results published on the state election website. That leaves the two parties short of a majority and marks the end of the CDU’s 58-year state rule. The opposition Greens took a record 24.2 percent, while the Social Democrats, which said they’ll rule with the Greens, won 23.1 percent.
The result in Baden-Wuerttemberg may deliver Germany’s first Green state prime minister at the head of a coalition with the SPD. That would grant the Greens sway over policy affecting a state whose economy is bigger than Belgium and Luxembourg combined, and hand them control of Germany’s third-biggest utility, EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG, which operates four nuclear plants. Both Greens and SPD oppose atomic power.
“There won’t just be a changing of the guard in Baden- Wuerttemberg, there will be a change of politics,” Greens national co-leader Claudia Roth told reporters in Berlin. It will be “a historic watershed in 31 years of Green history when we vote in a Green state premier” in the state. “Let the future begin.”
“We’ve achieved a historic election victory,” said Winfried Kretschmann, who is likely to become Germany’s first state premier from the Green party. “I’d like to thank those that voted for us – especially those voting for us for the first time.”
In another state election in neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate, the Social Democrats looked set to stay in office, but will have to share power with the Greens.