Now that France has re-elected President Jacques Chirac over anti-immigrant, anti-social protection, anti-environment Jean-Marie Le Pen, the attention of the European Union has shifted toward Germany, where general elections will be held in September and an equally strong rightward lurch is feared. To help prevent that shift, Germany’s Greens spent the weekend outlining policies to battle resurgent conservative currents and restore their status as the nation’s third-ranking party. The Greens hope to capture 8 percent of the vote in September by drawing attention to their commitments to phase out nuclear power, raise energy taxes, and expand use of renewable energy sources. The party also supports such progressive measures as same-sex marriage, improved childcare, equality for women, and job creation.
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