Breaking: Fischer Resigns, and a Green Light

Handelsblatt reports that Joschka Fischer, one of the Greens’ two co-leaders and the Red-Green government’s foreign minister and deputy chancellor, has announced his resignation from both his party and state offices. He will, however, take up his seat in the Bundestag. Apparently he thinks the Greens need “a new formation” (eine Neuaufstellung) and that “clarity must reign”. Further, the party needs to be led by younger people.

Perhaps more importantly, he also said that it could be “realistically expected” that the Greens would not be represented in the next government. That can only realistically mean that he expects a grand coalition – an SPD/FDP/Left or CDU/SPD/Left coalition can be ruled out with some confidence, and a CDU/FDP/Left coalition with absolute certainty. The Greens will now have to elect two new parliamentary leaders.

Which brings me to another point..
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The Nuclear Option

Don’t blame me, blame Alex for this, since he’s the one who started me thinking about all those other issues associated with the German elections – apart that is from the economic ones. Like this in today’s FT:

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. ….Last week, she (Angela Merkel) named Heinrich von Pierer, a former Siemens chief executive, her chief economic advisor. The fresh faces, it was thought, would add energy and credibility to her bid for the top job….(but)…Mr von Pierer sparked his own media firestorm when he called for an extension of the life of nuclear power stations by 60 years.

I may be slow, but the implications of this didn’t really sink-in till I read in the EU observer that:

“Brussels predicts that oil prices will stay high in the foreseeable future and that the EU will need to build more nuclear reactors..”I expect investments in the nuclear sector in Europe, and in the rest of the world, will grow”, the commissioner (Andris Piebalgs) said.

Well, no wonder the greens are fuming.

Russia’s Iran Offer

Russia is offering to build up to six new nuclear reactors for Iran. I think that if the loss of global consensus attendant on the Iraq war has a price, a ‘less cordinated world’ will be one part of it. I think there is a serious danger of all this getting out of control.

Russia has pressed ahead with construction of Iran’s first nuclear power plant near the southern city of Bushehr, dismissing Washington’s belief that Tehran could use Moscow’s technology and know-how to make an atom bomb. “When Iran announces new tenders to construct nuclear reactors, we’ll take part in them,” Alexander Rumyantsev, head of Russia’s Atomic Energy Agency, told Itar-Tass news agency.