The three new socialist cabinet German minister-candidates put forward by the SPD today to serve in Angela Merkel's coalition government are truly awful news for Germany's prospects.
Worst of all is Franz Müntefering, who is lined up to be employment minister. This unreconstructed Marxist polemicist became notorious earlier this year when he seemed to blame Jewish capitalists - rather than 8 years' rule by the SPD (of which he is Chairman) - for Germany's economic woes. Chairman Müntefering described capitalists as "locusts" and drew up a list of largely Jewish companies to act as scapegoats. Despite widespread protests, Müntefering remained shameless and unrepentant.
The SPD-proposed Foreign Minister is ex-Chancellor Schroeder's long-term aide, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who can be expected to maintain Schroeder's policy of lining up with the French and Russians against the USA, to push for lifting the arms embargo against China and other such policies.
The finance minister will be Peter Steinbruck, whom voters kicked out of office as prime minister of Nordrhein-Westphalen earlier this year and who will perpetuate the policies that gave Germany's largest state's highest-ever numbers of unemployed.
If these appointments go through (and nothing suggests they won't), it looks like Angela Merkel's coalition government is set for a truly appalling start.