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Sep 17, 2013

Germany’s Merkel fights allies for centre-right votes

BERLIN, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The gloves came off between
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and her Free Democratic
(FDP) allies as Germany’s nervous ruling coalition partners
fight for the same centre-right voters ahead of Sunday’s general
election.

Merkel appealed to supporters to cast both their votes – one
for a constituency member of parliament, one for a party list -
for her Christian Democrats (CDU) rather than splitting their
ticket to help the FDP in an increasingly close race.

Sep 16, 2013

Doubts over Merkel coalition grow despite Bavaria victory

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chances of preserving her center-right coalition were in doubt less than a week before a federal election, with a new anti-euro party rising in the polls and her current partner reeling from a regional setback in Bavaria.

An emphatic victory in Bavaria on Sunday for the Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), was overshadowed by recent poll gains for the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) and the collapse of the Free Democrats (FDP) in the rich southern state.

Sep 16, 2013

Merkel coalition doubts grow despite strong Bavaria result

BERLIN, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
chances of preserving her centre-right coalition were in doubt
less than a week before a federal election, with a new anti-euro
party rising in the polls and her current partner reeling from a
regional setback in Bavaria.

An emphatic victory in Bavaria on Sunday for the Christian
Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats
(CDU), was overshadowed by recent poll gains for the Alternative
fuer Deutschland (AfD) and the collapse of the Free Democrats
(FDP) in the rich southern state.

Sep 13, 2013

Germans frown on finger gesture by Merkel’s election rival

BERLIN, Sept 13 (Reuters) – In a country where flashing the
middle finger can cost motorists a heavy fine and ended one
soccer star’s international career, Peer Steinbrueck may have
hurt his slim chances of becoming Germany’s next chancellor by
showing the “Stinkefinger”.

Angela Merkel’s Social Democrat (SPD) challenger has had to
defend himself over a magazine cover picture in which he points
his left middle finger into the air, in a wordless response to a
question about his campaign gaffes.

Sep 12, 2013

Merkel’s challenger redoubles attacks as polls improve

BERLIN (Reuters) – Encouraged by late gains in opinion polls following his strong debate performances against Angela Merkel, German center-left challenger Peer Steinbrueck has sharpened the tone of his attacks on the chancellor in a bid to close the gap.

Steinbrueck’s Social Democrats (SPD) still trail the center right by about 14 points ahead of the September 22 election. But with millions of voters still undecided, he used his famously sharp tongue to rip into Merkel on Thursday for usurping SPD ideas.

Sep 10, 2013

Greens dream of power fading as German election nears

BERLIN (Reuters) – Sven Suska looked like a typical Greens voter as he sat in his sandals and shorts in the Berlin sun eating a fruit salad, but the computer programmer is abandoning the party he says is now too much part of the establishment.

Like other Germans once attracted to the world’s most successful pro-environment party, Suska is now turned off by the Greens — and his defection helps explain a sudden drop in support before Germany’s September 22 election.

Sep 6, 2013

Last Hitler bunker witness Misch dies at 96

BERLIN (Reuters) – Roland Misch, the last surviving witness of Adolf Hitler’s final days in the Berlin bunker who always referred to the Nazi dictator as “the Boss”, has died in his home at the age of 96, his book agent said on Friday.

Misch, who told Reuters in a 2007 interview at his home that there was a strange silence in the bunker as the battle for Berlin raged above in April 1945, had been suffering from the effects of a recent heart attack when he died on Thursday.

Sep 5, 2013

Germany’s Greens fall to four-year low as vote nears

BERLIN (Reuters) – Support for the German Greens has slumped to its lowest in four years just over two weeks before a federal election, with voters put off by the party’s plans to increase taxes on the rich and its attempt to persuade people to eat less meat.

The Greens’ two-point drop to 10 percent in a survey by FGW released on Thursday makes it even less likely that the center-left can defeat Chancellor Angela Merkel in the September 22 vote.

Sep 4, 2013

Merkel’s fear: pollsters may get it wrong again

BERLIN (Reuters) – Eight years ago Angela Merkel stared gloomily at the election results with disbelief when her party crashed to 35.2 percent of the German vote, seven points below the opinion poll forecast.

Her poll lead melted away again on election day four years later, though her conservatives stayed in power despite their worst result since 1949. Indeed her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), have fallen short of forecasts in the last six elections.

Aug 22, 2013

Election ads put Merkel in focus while rivals hide their man

BERLIN, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Germany’s conservative Christian
Democrats will focus their TV advertising campaign on Chancellor
Angela Merkel while the opposition Social Democrats put ordinary
people in their ads and all but ignore their struggling
candidate, Peer Steinbrueck.

The rival parties kicked off the final month of campaigning
for the Sept. 22 election by presenting strikingly different TV
strategies on Thursday. Merkel’s conservatives hold a 16-point
lead over the SPD in opinion polls but her centre-right
coalition may fall short of a majority.

    • About Erik

      "Erik Kirschbaum is based in Berlin. He has been covering politics, economics, entertainment and sport in Germany since 1989 from Frankfurt, Bonn and Berlin. He also has worked for Reuters in Vienna. Previously, he also worked for newspapers in Connecticut, Wisconsin and Nevada. He has also written two books."
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