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Germany

Ex-SPD Leader Leaves Party

A former leader of Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) has said he will drop his membership after SPD leaders had called on him to do so. Oskar Lafontaine, a former premier of the western German state of Saarland, SPD leader and German finance minister, had told Bild tabloid that he could see himself cooperating with a newly formed leftist political group as well as the successor party to the communist party of former East Germany should they combine forces for the upcoming national elections. Lafontaine has been one of the harshest critics of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's reform agenda.

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