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The city-state of Hamburg is governed by Germany's first (and so far only) state-level black-green coalition, under mayor Ole von Beust.

A key project of the Greens the CDU allowed to advance (against significant resistance from the party base) was the change of the school system. In most states of (West) Germany, elementary school is only four years, then selection starts; something seen as reinforcing class divides and braking vertical mobility by leftists. So Hamburg's Greens introduced a reform for a 6-year elementary school.

So far so good. But an initiative of parents against the reform gathered enough signatures for a referendum, to be held tomorrow. The ugly part of it is that a lot of the affected pupils are children of foreign nationals, who can't vote in this referendum.

A referendum victory would bring difficult times for the coalition, and its advocates within the CDU; and there is someone who doesn't want any of it: mayor von Beust. In the last two days, there were several media reports that he plans to resign claiming private reasons; Die Zeit reports today that the announcement shall be made hours before the end of the referendum.

In case you wonder, recent polls indicated CDU losses and SPD gains, with and SPD-Greens absolute majority -- which would mean that the CDU would want to hold to power by maintaining the coalition with clinched teeth under a new leader. However, a referendum success for the traditionalists might change poll numbers, and with that political calculations regarding eventual new elections.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 06:18:21 AM EST

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