Monitor: Reaction to Schroder's election as the new German Chancellor

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The Independent Culture
THE VOTERS have abandoned Kohl and the Union because they couldn't recognise their "people's" party in the socio-political laws and undertakings of this government. This applied especially to voters in the East. The openness of the voters towards reform is limited to those areas where only small, or no, sacrifices are necessary. The FDP misjudged this, and is now paying for its wrong assessment. Kohl and Waigel didn't stand a chance with their level-headed calculations against a challenger who made vague promises of stability and affluence.

Frankfurter Allgemeine,


WHETHER SCHRoDER wants it or not, it will now be up to him to influence the nature, evolution and comportment of this new nation state born of the fall of the Wall. It is an enormous responsibility which he inherits. A responsibility which is impossible for us to ignore, or hide in discourse suited to the progress of social democracy in Europe.

Liberation, France

KOHL SPOKE of a dynamism, but wasn't able to convey it. He spoke of an atmosphere of renewal, but went about spreading the opposite. The voters were more keen for a change than anyone might have expected. It was a courageous election. If one adds up the votes cast for left-of-centre parties, the swing that becomes apparent is greater than that of the legendary Willy-Brandt election.

The results signal a big change, not just a little shift. Change is upon us. But "red-green's" majority will be small. So small, in fact, that it will require a lot of discipline - and forming a coalition will take some time.

Suddeutsche Zeitung,


THIS IS a new generation arriving in power, less sensitive to the weight of the horrors of the past. It is a different country, which will express itself as the images of the East-West division blur. Face to face with the Germans, now rid of any complex over their national interests, the French must retain equally unshakable convictions. Now that Germany is going to become the republic of Berlin, France must dare more and harder.

Le Figaro, France