West Germany: Play It Again, Mr. Chancellor

Play It Again, Mr. Chancellor

There was something distinctly odd about Chancellor Helmut Kohl's New Year's Eve speech on the publicly owned ARD television network. For a start, Kohl said he was looking forward to tax reforms, when in fact they had been in effect for a year. And why, at the end of his ten-minute address, did Kohl wish his countrymen a "peaceful and happy 1986"?

The network, apologizing for a "distressing foul-up," admitted that it had run last year's address by mistake. Red-faced officials said a copy of the old tape had been used a week earlier and had been "left lying" in the...

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