Lafontaine rules?

Carl Remick cremick at
Tue Oct 20 08:16:14 PDT 1998

I've been surprised to see no discussion here of the news that entrepreneur Jost Stollmann will not become the German economics minister. Seems to me that this is one of the clearest indications to date that Schroeder (willingly or not!) will not preside over just another ho-hum centrist government in the Clinton/Blair mold. Following is from today's NY Times: Choice for Economics Post Spurns Offer by Schroeder FRANKFURT, Germany -- Throughout his campaign for chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder portrayed himself as a pragmatic "new" Social Democrat who would promote economic growth while strengthening Germany's generous social welfare system. But hopes for that kind of happy balance collided with reality Monday, when Schroeder's candidate for economics minister turned down the job on the grounds that the ministry was being eviscerated. The exit of Jost Stollmann, a self-made millionaire who started a computer company, is the strongest sign that the new government will be more left-wing than pragmatic. The move also suggested that much of the political power in the government lies with Oskar Lafontaine, the more left-leaning chairman of the Social Democratic Party who will head the Finance Ministry, which is acquiring new responsibilities from the Economics Ministry. [end of excerpt] Carl Remick

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