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Schröder Out, Whither Germany?

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said this week he won't be part of the next government, set to be led by Angela Merkel. DW-WORLD readers reflected on his legacy and what the future could hold for Germany.


Bidding farewell after leading Germany for seven years

The following comments reflect the views of our readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

I served with the US Air Force at Wiesbaden and Rammstein for four years and loved every day of my service there. I am most unhappy that Herr Schröder would not support the US in Iraq. Also, I find it hard to believe a German chancellor would bad mouth the US and our president so blatantly. Best wishes to Mrs Merkel -- Ed Ellis

Mr. Schröder had all the temptations to silently walk past the Iraq war. However, he acted and spoke quite boldly and courageously against the powers that be. He is a world leader who cared for right and wrong. As an ordinary human being he has won my admiration and I pray to god that we will see him as a world leader sooner than later. Maybe as UN Chairman. Why not? Germans have to be proud for having elected him -- Desikan Thomas

I was born in Germany and have been a citizen Of the United States for 42 years. I never liked Schröder and the way he criticized the United States and England on the War in Iraq. He was of little help to this country. My husband was a soldier and died during the Vietnam Conflict. I am proud to be a citizen of this country we believe in freedom and justice for all -- Gisela McBride

I agreed with his (Schröder's) antiwar stance. I was hoping he could stay in power, but perhaps his successor will hopefully continue his reforms -- Brian Michener

Chancellor Schröder will be remembered worldwide for the social-economic reforms that he proposed. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and he could comfortably find his origins in the ranks of common, hard-working and honest people. Schröder wore a cordial smile as he stood next to President Bush and Tony Blair, yet Schröder was clearly not a supporter of an illegal and unethical war in Iraq. Schröder was not a puppet of President George Bush. Good Germans supported Schröder's position regarding the war in Iraq. Schröder is only one man, and he cannot be held accountable for every economic setback. Schröder has a lot of opposition, and the opposition is what is the problem. The opposition had stunted Schröder's goals. Praise Schröder for his efforts and integrity -- G. Russell, USA

I believe that the new German government will actually understand its citizens and listen to what the citizens want. They also have to ask the question of: What will help the economy? Maybe having other countries buy from Germany is one way to go. Rock on! -- Joe Stample, United States

Schröder is a respectable statesman. He showed an ambitious independent policy. His efforts for a united strong Europe are undeniable. He was unfortunate in the domestic economic field. Quite a loss for Europe and the world. Unglücklich -- Salah Khalil, Egypt

Is she ready for the German economy crisis? Can Merkel fix the problems with unemployment? Can she bring Germany back to those glory days? I will stand behind her. Yes. She had better give many good speeches to rally non-supporters into liking her -- Stephen Bender

I wish Merkel success! Germany needs a change -- Barbara Webb

I hope she won't be another Margaret Thatcher -- Victor

In my opinion, Chancellor Merkel is more than ready. Germany and the rest of the world need the change badly. We will see more and more women leaders -- Yesudas, Malaysia

This is my opinion on Chancellor Gerhard Schröder -- A highly intelligent but too politically sided man who understood Germans well, but failed to understand where Germany fits in the global scheme of nations and political forces. This opposed to Tony Blair, another Social Democrat who has made the right moves domestically and internationally. It all boils down to, "when you fight - you will be fought back in return. You have to be wise on who you pick as your adversary, or your probabilities of advancing your cause will be highly diminished while you are busy fighting, when you can be busy growing". However, at the end of the day, Gerhard Schröder took Germany through difficult times and his leadership was a counter-intuitive answer to the 16 years in power by the great Chancellor Kohl. It gave Germany a chance to find more of its real self and set a stage to a Germany more in tune with its reality as a leading nation in our confused world -- Manuel Ortiz, Puerto Rico

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  • Date 14.10.2005
  • Author DW staff (sp)
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  • Date 14.10.2005
  • Author DW staff (sp)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink