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 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 09/98: German elections  
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German elections Monday, 28 September, 1998, 01:14 GMT 02:14 UK
Schr¿der on 'historic' election
Schr¿der says Germany will become more modern
German Social Democrat leader [SPD] Gerhard Schröder pledged on Sunday to fight mass unemployment and gave the reasons for his victory over German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Excerpts of a live interview with Mr Schröder on German television follow:

Fighting unemployment

I stand for economic stability and development, for internal security and, above all, for continuity in foreign policy as well.

Dear friends, my most important goal is the struggle against the scourge of mass unemployment.

Harmony needed for future success

The following contributed to our success: a reasonable and realistic programme, cohesion among the party and a suitable candidate.

I think the harmony among these three things was the reason for our success. Our ability to maintain this harmony will be decisive for further success.

Tribute to Kohl

Every election is historic in a certain sense. Germany will not become a different republic after these elections.

It will certainly become a bit more modern, there will be more social justice.

These are our goals and we will implement them...

One might describe the elections as historic for a completely different reason: that a governing chancellor was voted out of his office for the first time.

This is certainly new and one might describe that as historic. I would like to add the following: I would like to explicitly express my respect for Helmut Kohl at this point, he was a really difficult opponent, also in the most recent elections campaign.

In addition, his achievements for Germany will last. He has certainly achieved historic things and I am ready to admit that, just like me, he waged a fair election campaign.

I believe that we have set an example for other countries in this respect.

Government needs "stable majority"

It would be wrong to make binding statements today, particularly in view of the fact that the exact composition of the German Bundestag [lower house of parliament] is not yet known.

I said during the election campaign that we need a government with a stable majority at present, and I made it clear that I do not believe that a government that is tolerated by the Party of Democratic Socialism [PDS] or that depends on the PDS, is stable.

There is no need to add something to that, and the rest will be clarified very calmly tomorrow and in the next few days.

I ask you to understand that we want to celebrate this evening. In fact, we had to wait for 16 years for this result.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC News
Mr Schr¿der talks to the BBC after his election victory
BBC News
Caroline Wyatt reports on Gerhard Schr¿der's path to to the top
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