WEST GERMANY: Don't Predict Disaster

Even if his counterparts elsewhere in Western Europe were not struggling with deep political and economic problems, West Germany's Chancellor Helmut Schmidt would stand out. As his country's head of government and top economic policymaker (he is a former Finance Minister), Schmidt, 57, has led the country out of its worst postwar recession relatively unscathed. Often Schmidt's opinions are the determining factor in Common Market decisions. At home, he does not elicit overwhelming warmth or emotion, but he is sufficiently respected to have won a 76% "approval" rating in a recent public opinion poll.

At the end of a day's...

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