The major contemporary radical left parties are not new parties – at least compared with Green and radical right parties that have proliferated in European party systems since the early 1980s. Most (above all the communists) have an explicit link to historical parties either in name (e.g. the French Communist Party), leadership cadres (e.g. Pierre Laurent, current PCF national secretary, is the son of former Central Committee member Paul Laurent, who joined the party in 1945), or otherwise in symbols and ideology. As we shall see in coming chapters, even those parties appearing as if from nothing (e.g. the Dutch and Scottish Socialists, German LP) are amalgamations of pre-existing micro-parties and party tendencies where their contemporary leadership played significant roles: most obviously, LP leaders Oskar Lafontaine and Gregor Gysi had been, respectively, a key leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) leadership and a member of the pro-Gorbachev wing of the East German ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED).