West Germany: Down in The Dumps

Down in The Dumps

Barely three months ago, the staid political weekly Die Zeit commented that Helmut Kohl's control was so unchallenged that it would be hard to imagine Bonn without him as Chancellor. How quickly things change. Germany has a high standard of living and low inflation, but the latest polls suggest that if elections were held now, Kohl's Christian Democratic Union would be soundly trounced.

Kohl tried to halt the popularity slide by reshuffling his Cabinet last week, but the move only underscored his political weakness. Among those ousted was disruptive Defense Minister Rupert Scholz. Recent controversies concerning West German involvement in Libya's...

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