An large-scale scandal broke out in Germany on the eve of upcoming parliamentary elections. To tell the truth, such scandals are habitual for many countries, and Germany isn’t an exception. However, it is a sensation that the American president is being compared with Adolph Hitler.
Germany's Minister of Justice Hertha Daeubler-Gmelin made a statement that implies that George Bush follows the Fuhrer’s line when he wants to divert people’s attention from domestic problems and urges them on to war with Iraq. In her words, “it is a classical tactic that was used by Hitler.”
The statement was immediately circulated first by the regional mass media and then by the federal media, which, in its turn, caused a hail of protests. Certainly, the Christian-Democratic and Christian-Social unions immediately demanded that the minister resign. They say that Hertha Daeubler-Gmelin has struck a shocking blow against Germany’s prestige. Consequently, they believe that the resignation of the minister is the least Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder should do to somehow improve the situation.
Naturally, the reaction of the US government to the statement was rather strong and immediate. White House press secretary Ari Fleisher says that the statement by German minister was disgusting and unspeakable, and her opinion on the subject was groundless at the same time.
However, this doesn’t mean at all that Schroeder will listen to the demands of his opposition. The Social Democrats won’t do it on the eve of upcoming parliamentary elections for one reason only: if it is said that the opposition is right, this will consequently cause damage to the Social-Democratic Party of Germany. However, according to opinion polls, the Docial Democrats are just slightly ahead of their rivals from the Christian-Democratic and Christian-Social unions. Therefore, the slightest mistake might result in defeat at the polls.
It’s hardly likely that the words of the German minister of justice were made in haste; they look very much like a political trick on the eve of upcoming elections. It is no secret that the majority of Germans disapprove of theBundeswehr’s participation in a war against Iraq and in any war on the whole. Chancellor Schroeder stated several times himself that Germany will not fight Iraq. By the way, Schroeder’s rival, Edmund Stoiber, lost several percentage points in the polls when he failed to say what the conservatives think about an anti-Iraq war. Stoiber was spoke about allied relations with the USA, which was treated as approval of the deeds of George Bush and his administration.
Therefore, the words by Hertha Daeubler-Gmelin are just an instrument in the pre-election struggle. It is quite likely that this instrument will be very useful, and the Social-democrats will gain more votes. All means are good if they bring successful results. But what is the chancellor to do with the minister if the Social-Democrats win the elections?
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Photo: German Justice Minister, Hertha Daeubler-Gmelin
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/09/20/47339.html