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German notes

Ralf Dahrendorf and Anne McElvoy examine Germany's Red-Green government and eastern Germany ten years after reunification

By Ralf Dahrendorf   December 1999

Bothered in Berlin: Ralf Darendorf  No big European country finds change quite such a painful idea as Germany. Elections are fought on slogans such as “No Experiments” (Konrad Adenauer) or “Security not Risk” (Helmut Kohl). It was therefore a small miracle that in the general election of September 1998, Social Democrats and Greens managed to unseat a coalition of Christian Democrats and Free Democrats. Previous changes of government since the second world war had either come after a period of “grand coalition” or been triggered by a midterm switch of partners by the liberal Free Democrats. Indeed, it is often…

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