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Greens’ Congress Discusses Forming International Body

August 29, 1987

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Leaders of the Greens’ enviromentalist parties from 20 countries opened a congress Friday to discuss how much their diverse political and environmentalist movements have in common.

In an opening address to the three-day forum, Nobel Prize winner Hannes Alven suggested that an international Greens movement could help fight common problems such as pollution that crosses borders or Chernobyl-type nuclear disasters.

″Because the threat is international, an international organization for preserving the environment is necessary,″ he said.

An explosion April 26, 1986, at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Soviet Union killed 31 people and released a cloud of radiation that spread around the world.

But Alven told the 300 participants that a ″Green revolution″ could make the same mistakes as the Communists’ Bolshevik revolution in the Soviet Union in 1917.

″How should we avoid the formation of a number of internally fighting groups which basically have the same aim?″ he asked.

Alven, a Swede who won the Nobel prize in physics in 1970, cited the International Atomic Energy Agency as one case in which international regulation failed. The IAEA, a United Nations body, ″is under control of the nuclear industry, and is still run by it,″ he said.

Since the Greens first appeared in 1972, they have challenged traditional party politics throughout Europe, and now have seats in the parliaments of seven countries.

The Greens are making strong bids in several other countries, and recent polls in Sweden suggest they could upset the traditional power balance between conservative and left-wing coalitions in Parliament.

A text by Sergio Andreis of Italy questioned whether the Greens, which grew independently in each nation, could be bound by a common ideology.

The Greens, he said, ″developed almost as an anti-ideological movement.″ They are ″characterized by pragmatism and the capacity to mobilize citizens around single issues,″ he added, and are ready to disband once the issues are resolved.

Per Garthon, a former member of the Swedish Liberal party who acted as congress chairman, said the party program for the Swedish Greens was written without reference to the platforms of other Green parties.

″Still, when we started to study their programs, we found almost no difference,″ he said, calling for a ″specific green political identity.″

Garthon also spoke of the corrupting influence of public office and said that ″when Greens accept payment and employment as politicians, they must know it is basically a compromise between democracy and the realities of a centralized and overcomplicated society.″

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