Merkel launches re-election campaign
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, began her five-week re-election campaign yesterday, with a series of speeches and interviews in the medieval town of Seligenstadt. Before 22nd September, when the elections will be held, Mrs Merkel will speak at least 60 events.
Before a crowd of around 1,000 supporters, Mrs Merkel presented her government as the protector of economic stability and prosperity, highlighting how the German economy has grown by 0.7% in the second quarter of this year.
Commenting on the eurozone’s recession, Mrs Merkel said: “We have seen in Europe what happens when debts are too high. Growth on borrowed money – that’s impossible.”
In her speech, the German chancellor talked about her achievements in healthcare, education and old age care. She also made it clear that thanks to her government, the number of unemployed people in Germany fell from 5 million to 3 million. Despite some heckling from opposition youth activists, Mrs Merkel didn’t make any reference in her speech to her political opponent, Peer Steinbrück.
According to the surveys, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has a steady 15-point lead over Mr Steinbrück’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) and is likely to win the elections. If she wins with such a strong lead, Mrs Merkel’s political party is likely to govern with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and won’t need the support of the SPD. It would be Angela Merkel’s third mandate.
In conclusion to her speech, Angela Merkel made a promise, saying: “I can’t say that we won’t have problems. But I can say that after eight years we are way better than we were eight years ago. And I want that in 2017 we will be better than today.”
Unofficially, Merkel’s election campaign started last Tuesday when the German chancellor gave a history lesson at the Schliemann high school in Berlin about the construction of the Berlin Wall and her life as a student during that period.