Post Oskar Scenario

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Tue Mar 16 06:18:07 PST 1999

----- Original Message ----- From: Chris Burford <cburford at> To: <lbo-talk at> Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 1999 12:25 AM Subject: Post Oskar Scenario

>At 08:32 15/03/99 +0100, Johannes wrote:
>> Chris Burford wrote
>>>That the new finance minister comes from Hesse also seems to be a signal
>>>Schroeders determination to pay attention to electability in view of the
>>>recent SPD losses there. And for that, it is necessary to be cautious
>>>about what parts of capital can be taken on at any one time.
>>There is another thing to be kept in mind with Eichel. Actually he is one
>>Lafontaines boys. What he has been calling for in the past was pretty much
>>in line with the SPD party programme ( and thus Lafontaine ). When he
>>was mayor of Kassel he got the nickname the 'Lafontaine of Kassel'.
>I am puzzled by this, while I really appreciate the opportunity of checking
>out these events in an international forum.
>Eichel, like a good party man, may have spoken up for the SPD party
>programme, but surely there are some differences between him and
>Lafontaine. He certainly doesn't talk and act like Lafontaine from what I
>can make out of German television.
You are right he sounds much smoother than Lafontaine, but when you listen to what he has been saying instead of how he said, its sounds very close to Lafontaine. E.g. I dont think Eichel with antagonize the European Central Bank like Lafontaine did. But Lafontaine was counter-productive. Now that he has gone interest rates are going to be reduced in Euroland. Certainly Eichel is much weaker than Lafontaine was inside the cabinet. Furthermore he is coming in as the loser of the Hesse state parliament elections. On the other hand Lafontaine is gone but the forces inside the SPD (and society as whole) that supported him did not disappear over night. Lets see who is going to be appointed as deputy minsiters under Eichel, since Lafontaines co-workers Noe and Flassbeck left too.
>On a point in another post, I clearly agree that people should not tail
>behind the SPD of Lafontaine. I do not know enough about the PDS on the
>present situation to know how they place themselves, but in what sense are
>they "Stalinist"? The expression can be a catch all of many negative
meanings. OK, I have to admit this was intended as a sort of polemic and provocation. But nevertheless, the PDS is coming from a political tradition within the German workers movement that identified closely with Stalin and his successors. Furthermore the main constituency of the PDS are people who remember the political system of the GDR quite positively. Perhaps they are Stalinists in the same way the editors of the late 'Marxism Today' were. Johannes

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