German Greens go mainstream in bid for power
HANOVER, Germany (REUTERS) - Germany's Greens have gone grey. The world's most successful pro-environment party has turned deadly serious about gaining power by stealing votes from Chancellor Angela Merkel - and perhaps by joining her.
The muesli, woolly sweaters, thick beards and endless debates about abstract issues that were once part of any Greens congress are largely gone. In their place is a more mature party of smartly dressed professionals with one clear aim: getting back into government after federal elections next year.
At their unusually harmonious three-day party congress in Hanover that ended on Sunday, Greens leaders were applauded for hailing their party's "conservative values" and unabashedly trying to appeal to centre-right voters, using language that a decade ago would have had them booed off the stage.
Pollsters put support for the Greens at 13 percent, enough if the electoral arithmetic goes their way to make them kingmakers after Germans vote in September, 2013.