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Words in the News
Monday 23 September 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  German elections
German Elections
Summary: Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has won the German elections. His Social Democrats, together with their partners, the Greens, are preparing for another four year term in government, although they have a greatly reduced majority. This report from William Horsley:
The News Listen  
  What a night it was for Germany: a desperately close race between the two candidates for Chancellor, declarations of victory by both, then the figures turned slightly in favour of Gerhard Schroeder and the Greens. At last, the official result came: Mr Schroeder and his Green partners are back in power with an overall majority of just nine seats.

The former communists in eastern Germany, the Party of Democratic Socialism, suffered badly, holding onto only two seats. The loser, Christian Democrat Edmund Stoiber, said the new government would be so weak he aims to topple it within a year.

But Gerhard Schroeder will be formally sworn in within weeks. Then he faces a sea of troubles - a relationship with America scarred by his campaign rhetoric against US policy on Iraq, trouble with Germany's European partners and an economy in urgent need of resuscitation. Mr Schroeder's opponents have accused him of leading Germany into international isolation.

William Horsley, BBC, Berlin.

The Words Listen
  a desperately close race
only won (or lost) by a small amount

  an overall majority
official announcements or statements

the highest total number

  holding onto
keeping and not losing

cause to lose power

  sworn in
requested to solemnly promise to fulfil his duties as Chancellor

  a sea of troubles
a very large number of problems

damaged in a lasting way

  campaign rhetoric
political speeches intended to convince or impress people

being made active and successful again

  Read more about this story  

Other Words in the News archives


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