On 5 December, Bodo Ramelow became the first state premier in Germany from Die Linke, Germany’s Left Party, which is a composite of remnants of the old ruling party of East Germany and a left split (mainly in West Germany) from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 2005.
He heads a three-way “red-red-green” coalition with the SPD and the Greens in Thuringia.
There has been outcry from the German right against an alleged return of the old East German Stalinist dictatorship, which this isn’t. But, for Die Linke’s newer, more left-wing, post-Stalinist members, the prospects aren’t good.
The coalition agreement for Thuringia includes no hint of using the state government as a platform to mobilise against the right-wing government and against capitalism in Germany. Instead, it includes only a few small reforms (more wind power, hiring more school teachers), calculated to be possible without confrontation.
Die Linke has already taken part in coalition governments in Berlin (2001-2011) and in Brandenburg (since 2009), where it has compromised itself by taking part in pushing through cuts.