European Press: East-West Divide | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 20.09.2004
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European Press: East-West Divide

European editorial writers concentrated on the outcome of German state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, expressing concerns that extremists' gains in Germany could pose difficulties for all of Europe.

The stream of discontent has made its way to the state elections in Brandenburg and Saxony, Spain’s El Pais wrote. The rise of the National Party in Saxony is very much a matter for concern, it’s a far-right, Neo-nazi and racist organization in favor of a revision of Germany's borders, the paper commented. In Germany, the wounds of the post-war separation have not yet healed -- and for that, not only Germany, but all of Europe is paying the price, the daily observed.

Eastern Germany is now turning into a cause of worry for Europe, Rome's Il Messagero agreed. All in all the issue is no longer eastern Germans’ resentment at chronic unemployment and government reforms, a part of society is beginning to accept the ultra-rightists and their ideals as socially acceptable, the paper remarked.

Germans are not Nazis, Switzerland's Tages-Anzeiger emphasized. The paper pointed out that the voters certainly took the major parties, which received only 50 percent of the total vote. The devastating election outcome should be an alarm signal that forces the democratic parties to finally take up the fight against rightwing extremism because looking the other way, is no solution, the paper concluded.

Les Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace noted that 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and 14 years after reunification, the neo-communists are taking advantage of many eastern Germans’ feeling of disenchantment.

Never before in the past 14 years have so many eastern Germans felt that they are the losers of unity, the Czech paper Mlada Fronta Dnes assessed. East German voters were trying to punish the large parties by voting for the right, but will end up really only punished themselves, the paper opined.

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