The Christian Democrats who were defeated by the narrow margin of 0.9 percent in 1969 for the first time in 20 years, are fighting hard ???
The Christian Democrats who were defeated by the narrow margin of 0.9 percent in 1969 for the first time in 20 years, are fighting hard ??? to swing middle-of-the-road voters their way in the forthcoming Federal elections. 48 year-old Dr Rainer Barzel leader of the Christian Democrats, is making his first bid for the leadership of West Germany.
Inflation has been the central issue in the federal election campaign and Dr Barzel has exploited alleged errors Herr Brandt's Social Democrats have made in the management of economic policy over the past three years. The CDU claim that galloping inflation will strike the country unless they are elected.
Dr Barzel else alleges the Social Democratic Party is over-indulgent towards left-wing radical forces. These forces, he charges, are openly working to transform the free enterprise system, to which Germany owes its industrial strength and property, into one of State-directed socialism. An added charge in the indictment by Dr Barzel is that the coalition of the Social Democrats and the Free Democratic Party has been too lax in combatting left-wing terrorism and preserving law and order.
Though ten years younger than Herr Brandt, Dr Barzel has been in politics just as long. He is presenting himself at the head of a powerful group of experienced CDU politicians which include, Franz-Josef Strause, Elder Statesman Dr Gerard Schroeder and Hans Katzer, the popular leader of the Party's Social Reform wing. On the sidelines is Professor Karl Schillar, a brilliant economist who three months ago quit the Brandt Government, claiming it was pursuing financial policies that would lead it to disaster.