[Ed. – Seriously, does absolutely everything have to be a repeat of the last century’s Greatest Hits? It’s like Dostoyevksy wrote a movie script or something.]
Germany’s far-Left party has returned to power in a state government for the first time since the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, stoking heated debate about its communist roots.
The Left Party, widely seen as the successor to the Socialist Unity Party (SED) that once ruled East Germany, will head the government of Thuringia after the state parliament narrowly voted to approve a new coalition. …
Thousands of people braved sub-zero temperatures on the streets of the state capital, Erfurt, on Thursday night to protest against the expected result of the vote.
Angela Merkel predicted the decision would be “bad news” for Thuringia, while the German President, Joachim Gauck, broke with the traditional neutrality of his role to speak out against it.
But the state parliament voted to approve Mr Ramelow’s three-way coalition after the Social Democrats, Mrs Merkel’s partner in the federal government, rejected an alliance with her Christian Democrats in the state.
The coalition, which is completed by the Green Party, will have a majority of just one seat in the state parliament.
Although Mr Ramelow grew up in West Germany, many of the Left Party’s leadership were senior figures in the East German communist party and some have been accused of links with the Stasi secret police.