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The BBC's Berlin correspondent, Rob Broomby
"In many ways Germany gave birth to the Green movement"
 real 28k

Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
Germany faces political fallout
German Greens
Germany's hardline anti-nuclear Greens may not welcome the deal
Germany's decision to close all nuclear power stations over the next 20 or so years is a political compromise which will face opposition both from the right and from radical Green circles.



The result of these negotiations is, in my view, a difficult compromise - but one that I can justify fully

Environment Minister, Juergen Trittin
At first sight it is a precious victory for the Green Party, which has so far had little to show for its participation in the German coalition government.

But the Greens had wanted to end nuclear power in Germany much more quickly - within five years.

Now the party leadership faces the task of selling the existing deal to the grass roots at the party conference in just over a week's time.

Tensions

The Green Environment Minister, Juergen Trittin, has already been forced onto the defensive.



The Greens have made peace with the generation of nuclear energy for a long time to come

Green Party activist, Antje Radcke
"The result of these negotiations is, in my view, a difficult compromise - but one that I can justify fully," he said.

In an interview on ZDF television, he emphasised that compensation would not be paid, and that a similar phase-out of nuclear power in Sweden was likely to take much longer.

But another of the party's leaders, Antje Radcke, said she would recommend rejection of the deal.

"We have ended the negotiations with a decision, which means that the Greens have made peace with the generation of nuclear energy for a long time to come," she said.



It's nonsense to speak about a consensus between government and industry

Hesse premier, Roland Koch
The BBC Berlin correspondent, Rob Broomby, says most members of the party seem likely to accept the compromise.

The stakes are high. If the Greens reject the deal the coalition with Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats might not survive the strain.

The conservative opposition - including the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Free Liberal Democrats (FDP) - is against the deal for different reasons.

It accuses the government of ignoring potential job losses, and making it difficult for Germany to meet air pollution reduction targets - on the grounds that fuel will have to be burned to make up for the loss of nuclear power.

Countermeasures

Conservatives have threatened to block any associated legislation in the upper house of parliament, which they control, and warned that they will reverse the phase-out if they return to power.


Juergen Trittin
The Greens' Juergen Trittin: On the defensive
The Christian Democrat premier of the state of Hesse, Roland Koch, said: "It's nonsense to speak about a consensus between government and industry. As soon as the CDU and FDP win the next election, that consensus will vanish."

However, our correspondent says that the conservatives recognise that if they do not win the next election in 2002, it would already be too late to reverse the phase-out by the time of the next election in 2007.

The agreement calls for firms to set up special nuclear waste dumps as soon as possible, prior to the launch of a national storage site.

This could affect the budgets of Germany's federal states, meaning that legislation would need the approval of the upper house.

Among the states where nuclear power is a big employer are conservative-led Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

In anticipation of the deal, the Bavarian state government said on Wednedsday it was already preparing a complaint to take to the Constitutional Court.

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