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Gerhard Schröder will lead the Social Democrat challenge to Helmut Kohl in September's German election. Nina Grunenberg considers why he is more popular outside his party than inside. This is an edited extract from a profile written last year

By Nina Grunenberg   April 1998

Die Zeit

July 1997

so here is Gerhard Schröder: one against all; all or nothing. Even party friends such as Johannes Rau or Rudolf Scharping are repulsed by his appetite for power. They cannot see what he stands for. In the party’s eyes, he is fickle, self-absorbed and rude to people for whom he has no need. But the voters love him, as we have just seen with his re-election in Lower Saxony-handing him the prize of a run against Helmut Kohl in September. Why? What makes him so attractive? It cannot be his record in office; Lower Saxony’s…

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