Monitor: German analysis of Chancellor Schroder's losses in the state parliament elections

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The Independent Culture
SCHRoDER HAS no other choice but to stick to his austerity policy. He could gain strength after the weekend's results; if the SPD cannot succeed in Lander against the national trend, then it will be forced to rally round in an effort to improve Schroder's image. Emergency situations can lead to panic, or discipline. Schroder can count on the party not wanting to dismantle him before Landtag [regional parliament] elections in North Rhine-Westphalia next year. Should Schroder's man Wolfgang Clement lose there, Schroder's era would be over.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

THE CHANCELLOR could not have imagined a year ago the dismal road that lies ahead. Clever as he is, he might have seen the opportunity: proceed through the vale of tears of lost elections, into an open field of reforms. Then the elections can be won again. Perhaps the SPD remembers its patriotic traditions and will follow the slogan: The Chancellor is defeated, long live the Chancellor!

Die Welt

THESE ELECTIONS show how German voters shy away from change. The Christian Democrats are gaining because they are profiting from amateurish Red-Green government, not because of ideas of their own. Schroder will survive expected defeats in Thuringen and Berlin. No danger threatens until elections next spring, but by then economy measures may have had an effect. Then Schroder's policy would be vindicated.

Suddeutsche Zeitung

THERE IS only one loser in the elections, and his name is Gerhard Schroder. Nevertheless, a revolt in the Social Democrat party is unlikely at the moment, because it has no alternative to Schroder. His strength stems from the weakness of the SPD. For this reason, it would be premature to prophesy the demise of the Red-Green government. Even if the SPD loses the elections this autumn, Schroder's chances of regaining ground next year are not so bad. Unemployment is expected to drop slightly, and experts expect the economy to improve.