The Greens in Germany have decided on their electoral programme and have given their leader, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, their full support.
He will lead them into the next general election which is likely to be in September. He rallied the troops saying the Greens had to be stronger. Much of the debate was on labour and economic policy, environmental issues took a back seat. The concern is how to create jobs with almost five million people unemployed. Green Party co-president Reinhard Buetikhofer said that the fight for justice and for job creation was critical. Delegates voted against an increase in VAT which stands at 16 per cent in Germany and which will be a crucial issue in the election campaign. The conservative opposition CDU, well ahead in the polls, says they want to increase it to 18 per cent. The Green Party has between 7 to 9 per cent support. Polls suggest their years in power with the Social Democrats are about to end.