Green issues in German election spotlight

Government plays on achievements, accuses opposition of being bankrupt on environment

Germany's ruling SPD party this week put environmental issues centre stage in the country's election campaign, vaunting its own record and claiming that the centre-right opposition parties were bankrupt of ideas. The SPD's junior Green partners blamed current severe flooding on climate change and said they demonstrated the need for strong environmental policies and high energy taxes.

Environmental issues have so far played little role in the election campaign, which is being fought largely on the economy. SPD environment spokesperson Michael Müller changed this on Monday when he described shadow chancellor Edmund Stoiber as being bankrupt of ideas on the environment.

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