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Die Presse - Austria | Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lafontaine's retirement bad news for Left Party

Oskar Lafontaine, the leader of the Left Party's parliamentary group in the German state of Saarland, has pulled out of the race for the party leadership and is encouraging younger members to take the helm. The battle within the party could be its end, writes the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse: "Lafontaine's stepping down is the culmination of a self-destructive process that couldn't have been more complete if it had been planned. The euro is hanging in the balance, the battle over ways to end the crisis rages everywhere you look, meanwhile the Left Party is gleefully eating itself away from the inside. Oh, yes, from time to time [Sarah] Wagenknecht, the Madonna of the far-left sectarians, drops a programmatic word on the state of things, talking of a 'neoliberal agenda that has landed the states deep in debt'. Aha: so if Greece is so deep in debt it's not because it has been living above its means? The Greek Alexis Tsipras has shown that such theses do not fall on deaf ears. But if the only way a party can make headlines is with clownish changes of the guard, even voters on the left will turn away in horror."

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