BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 18 September, 2002, 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK
'Anti-Semitism' row hits German campaign
Neo-Nazis in Leipzig back Juergen Moellemann
Mr Moellemann is no stranger to controversy

A controversial German liberal politician, Juergen Moellemann, is once again at the centre of a controversy over allegations of anti-Semitism.

The vice-chairman of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) has accused the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, of war-mongering and breaking the Oslo peace plan.

Juergen Moellemann
Moellemann: A talented self-publicist and a political risk-taker
He has also launched a poster campaign criticising the vice-president of the German-Jewish community, Michael Friedman.

The FDP could emerge as a coalition partner for the centre-right parties if their candidate, Edmund Stoiber, wins the election.

Mr Moellemann is a talented self-publicist, but he is also a political risk-taker.

He launched the campaign to propel the FDP back into government in a Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition, setting an optimistic 18% target for the coming elections.

But Mr Stoiber has now hinted Mr Moellemann would not be welcome in a coalition cabinet led by him.

Kingmaker

Mr Moellemann has been repeatedly accused of having populist tendencies, but in criticising the Israeli leader in an election campaign he has reignited allegations that he is trying to appeal to far-right voters.

Open in new window : Key election graphs
Click here to see German election statistics

Criticisms of Israel are often interpreted as anti-Semitic in Germany - a country which see itself as a staunch defender of the Israeli state.

The FDP leader, Guido Westerwelle, has distanced himself from Mr Moellemann's actions, while the former FDP Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, said his position was "unwise".

But in returning to a divisive topic just days before the election, he has embarrassed his party which still hopes to emerge as the kingmaker after the voting on Sunday.

Gerhard Schroeder

Key stories

Background

Profiles

TALKING POINT
See also:

17 Sep 02 | Europe
16 Sep 02 | Europe
10 Jun 02 | Europe
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes