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The reinvention of Germany’s social democrats?

Under Andrea Nahles the party is moving to the left but that’s a risky electoral strategy

By Paul Lever  

Andrea Nahles, SPD. Photo: Gregor Fischer/DPA/PA Images

Social democracy was born in Germany and it was a social democrat, Friedrich Ebert, who was the country’s first democratically elected head of state. Since the establishment of the Federal Republic in 1949 the Social Democrat Party (SPD) has always been one of the two biggest parties in the Bundestag, sometimes the biggest; and three chancellors, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schroeder, have been social democrats.

But Schroeder left office in 2005 and since then the party’s political…

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