After the conservatives have won the federal state elections in North-Rhine Westphalia and pushed out social democrats and greens from the government the new coalition of conservatives and liberals now is planning a dangerous weakening of legal housing rights and sales of state owned housing stocks. According to press news the parties agreed in deleting a federal regulation on the protection of tenants against quitting after privatisation. Since 2004 in the urban regions the owner of a flat, which was transformed from rental housing to single ownership, within a period of 6 – 8 years was not allowed to evict the original tenant, even not if the owner wanted to use the flat by him/herself. The new government wants to delete this regulation. Ten thousands of tenants are concerned. Tenants association expect a radicalisation of privatisations. Further more the new government plans to proof the sale of the sate owned housing company LEG with 110.000 flats. A coalition of tenants and trade unions had stopped similar plans two years before. The LEG is mainly owning social housing schemes with many social problems. Within the LEG there are some progressive projects like official tenants councils in soma neighbourhoods and first experiments with participative budgets. But at the same time LEG is in a bad economical condition because they took over many critical buildings. Further more LEG officials were accused for corruption during the past months.
Seeking for new formation of the left in Germany
After the historic disaster for the Social Democrats at the elections in North-Rhine Westphalia (May) the democratic left in Germany is seeking for a new united parliamentarian formation.
At the evening of the heavy election loss in traditional SPD-governed NRW chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced to seek for new elections at national level. It is expected that Greens and Social Democrats will loose these national elections which are planned for September. The result will be an overwhelming majority for the yellow-blacks in the national parliament and the federal parliaments. Social movements and the left accuse SPD to be responsible for the destruction of labour security and social aid, the reduction of taxes on profits and the resulting bankrupt of state. Never the liberals and the conservatives alone had been able to achieve such deep changes in the German society. Gerhard Schroeder had done the job for the neo-liberal class enemy and destroyed his won party by doing so. Now he is not needed any more.
As consequence of the neo-liberal turn of SPD many old members left that party. They lost their support in the trade unions. A part of the disappointed founded a new party, the Election Alternative for Social Rights (WASG).
After the lost elections the former president of SPD and financial minister Oskar Lafontaine left his old party and called for a unification of WASG and PDS (the mainly eastern Germany based post-communists) for the coming national elections. A unified Democratic Left with leadership of Lafontaine and the PDS icon Gisy are expected to get at least 8 percent of the votes. This by the left is seen as a great chance to establish a serious parliamentarian all-german force left from the SPD the first time in post war German history.