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Germany

Peaceful End to Student Occupation

Students evacuated the headquarters of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) on Thursday morning. They had occupied the office the day before to protest against plans by Berlin’s local government to cut universities' budgets and introduce mandatory tuition fees for long-term students. A PDS spokesman said the discussions with the squatters had gone on throughout the night. The PDS is the minority member in the city's ruling coalition along with the Social Democrats. The city’s education minister is a PDS member. Later in the day 5,000 students from Berlin's three universities demonstrated in the streets of the capital. Student protests have been going on for the past three weeks and are expected to continue. The senate plans to cut university funds by €125 million ($149 million) by 2009.