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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 10:55 PM
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Anti-capitalist Left Party rises in Germany
Left party leader prepares to make history in crucial state election


On May 9, voters in North Rhine-Westphalia will go to the polls to elect a new parliament. So far, no party has a clear majority, but a small socialist party with roots in East Germany has opposition leaders worried.

By mid-April, most schoolteachers are busy grading papers and looking forward to summer vacations - not Baerbel Beuermann.

The 54-year old special needs teacher just took a leave of absence to become the Left party's first candidate for the North Rhine-Westphalia state election, which takes place on Sunday.

"We want to change education here in North Rhine-Westphalia, we want to change the social items here, and we have to change the work situation," says the candidate, who is best known for her trademark fiery red hair and controversial socialist agenda.

Eastern roots, western branches

The Left Party is one of Germany's newest parties, founded in 2007 by disgruntled western German trade unionists and members of the successor to the East German communist party. Already successful in eastern Germany, the party has been instrumental in establishing a socialist presence in the western part of Germany.

Beuermann credits the party's growth to voters' disenchantment with other, less hard-line socialist parties, as well as a growing divide between rich and poor.

"There is money, we are a rich country, more than 2,000 millionaires in Germany, and there are a lot of people who are hungry," Beuermann told Deutsche Welle. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5527008,00.html



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