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Germany

Schröder Stands Up for Red-Green Coalition

Chancellor Schröder is still convinced of coalition with the Greens, but sets conditions for future work.

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A confident Schröder, right, under the watchful eyes of Secretary General Franz Müntefering.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is confident that the Red-Green coalition government will continue to hold. At the SPD party congress in Nürnberg, he said last week's vote of confidence in parliament was a signal for further cooperation.

The government still had a lot of work to do, Schröder said. But this can only be accomplished with realistic and unanimous policies on central domestic and foreign issues. Germany cannot be ruled with nostalgia or by ousting political comrades, he said.

The confidence vote last Friday was tied to the request to send troops to Afghanistan. It was a move designed to solidify the Chancellor's position.

Several pacifists from the Greens and Schröder's own SPD party had opposed joining the US-led mission, but backed down under intense pressure from party leaders who warned that "No" votes would bring down the government.

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