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Monday, 28 February, 2000, 11:18 GMT
Press hails 'clear' SPD victory
Volker Ruehe
CDU leader Volker Ruehe avoided political meltdown
Victory for the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the Schleswig-Holstein state election is given extensive coverage in most German editions.

But many commentators point out that the scale of defeat for the crisis-hit Christian Democratic Union (CDU) could have been much greater.

"SPD clear winner in Schleswig-Holstein," says Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Heide Simonis
Re-elected: State governor Heide Simonis of the SPD
The paper says, however, that although the SPD won the election, it was unable to profit as much as expected from the financial donations scandal that has rocked former Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democrats.

"The Christian Democrats were spared a plunge in the favour of the voters," the paper says.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung adopts a similar line, noting "slim" losses for the CDU.

'Disappointment'

"Schleswig-Holstein: It remains red-green," says Hamburg's Die Welt, after news that the new state government would comprise a coalition between the local SPD and Greens, reflecting the composition of the national government.

Berlin's Die Tageszeitung says that the Social Democrats were "secretly disappointed" that they did not achieve an absolute majority.

"The Greens are overjoyed about their unearned gift of power," it adds.

Defeat in Schleswig-Holstein for the CDU also makes the news elsewhere in Europe.

Madrid's El Pais includes it among its front-page stories under the headline: "The CDU falls defeated in the first elections since the 'Kohl scandal'".

The paper goes on to say that with the victory of his Social Democrats, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder "has managed to put an end to a spate of defeats in regional elections".

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28 Feb 00 |  Europe
CDU fails election test
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