chapter  4
39 Pages

Hesse: The Reluctant Majority

WithDiane L. Parness

Holger Boerner honestly never relished the prospect of negotiating with the Greens, and he made the most of his genuine disappointment that the Social Democratic Party (SPD) had failed to gain a governing majority on their own. The SPD's elite could see little practical reason or moral imperative for curtailing or closing down the reactors, and were most reluctant to budge on the issue, regardless of the uproar issued by the Greens. The Greens could offer no response but to insist the coalition would collapse if the SPD continued to behave so irresponsibly on this issue. The collapse of the red-green coalition in Hesse illustrated unequivocally the limits of compatibility between economic and environmental interests. A final agreement on Green toleration of a SPD government in Hesse was a reality, the national SPD had had considerable time to warm to the idea.