The Grand Coalition of the SPD and Christian Democrats has now been in office for some months. Its programme is “more of the same”, further privatisations and cuts in social spending. Although this may hold for a while, beneath the surface a new mood is developing. The signs are already there in some significant strikes such as that of the Gate Gourmet workers.

By mid-November Germany will almost certainly be governed by a “Grand Coalition” involving Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. The programme of this government is a foregone conclusion, the same old recipe of privatisations and cuts. For now the bosses are happy with this, but this government is preparing the ground for a greater radicalisation on the left similar to what we saw back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

There is greater instability in Germany than ever before in post-war history. Both big parties, the Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) lost considerably. The virtual deadlock is caused by the fact that after a short and very polarised election campaign both camps failed to get anywhere near a majority of seats.

Yesterday’s German elections have produced what amounts to a hung parliament. There is a strong element of class polarisation in German society, which is reflected in these elections results. Of particular interest is the emergence of the Left Party, which did very well in the historic bastions of the PDS but also picked up a reasonable vote in what was the former “affluent” West.

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