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German Press Review: Only Bowing to Outside Pressure

German editorialists devoted their attention to moves by the country's conservative opposition CDU to expel Martin Hohmann from its parliamentary group for making anti-Semitic remarks in a speech.

"At last!" wrote the Offenbach-Post. The CDU finally took the steps demanded from within the party itself. "…Backbencher Hohmann -- who with his inexpressible speech on October 3 caused the party, the armed forces and the country as well considerable trouble -- is to be fired from both the parliamentary group and party." The daily said the course of the debate showed two things: that Germany hasn’t come to terms with the darkest side of its history, and that it is a long way away from that free and easy self-confidence that former Federal President Roman Herzog pleaded for when he took office in 1994.

The Berliner Kurier said that the CDU should not expect applause for this overdue step. "We have had to listen to too many Christian Democratic attempts to explain things. It wasn’t Hohmann’s anti-Semitic invective that forced the CDU leadership to act. It was pressure from outside that it bowed to. Such developments must be nipped in the bud even if it takes time," the Berlin paper wrote.

Following the jailing in Russia of Yukos oil chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky on fraud and tax evasions charges, the Bavarian Fränkischer Tag newspaper commented, "Oil tycoon Khodorkovsky wanted to involve U.S. concerns in Russia’s oil business, but the energy industry and energy resources belong to the strategic sector, for which President Vladimir Putin is responsible. Khodorkovsky took it upon himself to trade with Russia’s reserves," the daily said. "That was going too far for the Kremlin and so it deposed Khodorkovsky," the paper concluded.

Referring to Sunday's devastating suicide attack in Saudi Arabia that the United States said was aimed at toppling the pro-Western Saudi government and royal family, Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote the king might now become a real ally in the fight against terrorism -- simply because the issue was his dynasty’s very survival. In Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Islamic world people should learn that tolerating or promoting extremists does not pay off. Sooner or later such regimes suffer the same fate as the sorcerer’s apprentice, the paper said. The paper wrote that it hoped "that the latest bombing will help unmask the terrorists, for the victims were Muslims -- from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Sudan. Such indiscriminate attacks prove that it’s about much more than a confrontation between honest Islam and shameful America."

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