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Friday, March 2, 2007

Rot-Rot

Actually two words, and they're celebrating 100 days in office today: "Rot-Rot" (red-red) refers to Berlin's governing coalition, made up of two parties who both use red as their identifying colour. That's the SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, Germany's main social democratic / left-of-centre party), and the Linkspartei (Party of the Left, which is an uneasy alliance between the former PDS - the successor to East Germany's communist party - and left-wing elements of the SPD who were unsatisfied with their party's increasingly centrist leanings in recent years).Coalitions in Germany are often described using this; common combinations include "Rot-Grün" (for when the SPD is in bed with the Greens, as was the case under Chancellor Schröder), or "Schwarz-Gelb" (CDU/CSU and the FDP). When the two main parties, SPD and CDU/CSU, get together however, the resulting coalition is usually and boringly called a "große Koalition" (grand coalition). And on the rare occasions SPD (red), FDP (yellow) and the Greens get together (it has happened), that results in an "Ampelkoalition" (traffic light coalition).

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