May 19, 2011

Germany: Country's First Green Party Governor Wants "a Quiet Revolution"

From Der Spiegel, an interview with Winfried Kretschmann:
Winfried Kretschmann, 62, is the new governor of Baden-Württemberg and the first-ever leader of a German state from the Green Party. In a SPIEGEL interview, he talks about redefining economic growth, his plans to make industry more environmentally friendly and the future of nuclear power in Germany.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Kretschmann, you have just become governor of Baden-Württemberg, the first-ever state governor from the Green Party in Germany. Baden-Württemberg has the strongest economic growth of all of Germany's 16 states, as well as the second-lowest rate of unemployment and the third-healthiest public finances. Can someone who governs a state like that simply sit back and say: Keep up the good work?

Kretschmann: No.

SPIEGEL: Why not?

Kretschmann: Because our prosperity is merely on loan. Our entire economy and lifestyle are incompatible with our economic foundation. We're facing the challenge of the century. If we want to maintain our prosperity in the long term, we must find a way to reconcile environmental protection and economics. So where better to start than here? . . . 

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