Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Merkel, Steinmeier in final push for German votes
Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:32am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Sarah Marsh
BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier battled on Saturday to win over a large pool of undecided voters on the last day of campaigning before a federal election.
Merkel told a rally in Berlin, hours after arriving on an overnight flight from a G20 summit in Pittsburgh, that her conservatives must use the final campaign hours to convince the one-third of voters who pollsters say have yet to make up their minds.
"Every vote counts," said Merkel, 55, Germany's first woman chancellor and the only one to have grown up in communist East Germany.
Security has been tight after a series of al Qaeda videos this week threatening a "rude awakening" for Germany if voters back a government that supports keeping troops in Afghanistan, where 4,200 Germans are stationed with NATO-led forces.
Police in the southern city of Stuttgart said on Friday they had arrested a 25-year old Turkish man they suspect of posting one of the threatening videos on the Internet.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned European countries to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan in an audio tape with both English and German sub-titles that heightened security concerns on the eve of the election.
STEINMEIER IN DRESDEN
Merkel, whose Christian Democrats and their Christian Social Union sister party have shared power with Steinmeier's Social Democrats (SPD) for the last four years in a cumbersome grand coalition, now hopes to form a center-right government with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).
But that potential coalition has watched a 6-7 point lead in opinion polls all but vanish in the last month.
Merkel's conservatives are still 8-11 points ahead of the SPD in polls, virtually assuring her of a second term. But she may well be forced into linking up again with the SPD, dooming her plans to pursue tax relief and extend the lifespans of Germany's nuclear plants in partnership with the FDP.
The grand coalition has drawn praise for its handling of Germany's worst post-war downturn, which Merkel said would shrink Europe's largest economy by 5 percent this year. The country emerged from recession in the second quarter, but recovery is still tentative.
A second consecutive right-left partnership could be less stable and more prone to infighting than the first, political analysts say. Merkel alluded to this in her speech, saying the SPD was racked by internal divisions.
"Stability can only come from a strong CDU/CSU together with the FDP," she told about 3,000 supporters at her Berlin rally.
Steinmeier, whom media judged the winner of the campaign's only televised debate with Merkel on September 13, has been buoyed by the narrowing opinion polls and declared the race wide open.
He has warned voters against electing a center-right government that he says would put business interests above those of the poor. Continued...
View article on single page
Madagascar government to protest at UN rejection
Pittsburgh G20 summit
Leaders of the world's biggest economies meet in Pittsburgh to discuss ways of nurturing the fragile recovery from the worst global recession since 1930s, and how to help cushion the world economy from future crises. Full Coverage
More International News
Obama accuses Iran of evasion before Geneva talks
Twin car bomb attacks kill 16 in NW Pakistan
McChrystal submits plea for more Afghanistan troops
Koreans, split by war for 56 years, meet to say goodbye
U.S. drone crashes into Iraq political party office
More International News...
German election race narrows amid security threat
Friday, 25 Sep 2009 08:57pm EDT
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Obama scores twin coups on Iran, economy
Man sues BofA for "1,784 billion, trillion dollars" | Video
G20 faces credibility test on markets, climate | Video
How firms can respond to the Asian militant threat
Man sues BofA for "1,784 billion, trillion dollars"
TOPWRAP 10-Upbeat G20 takes new lead role on global economy
RPT-Man sues BofA for '1,784 billion, trillion dollars'
Stocks' rally to be tested by jobs data
Stanford in hospital after jail altercation
U.S. durable goods orders drop, home sales rise
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Obama hails progress at G20
Obama: Iran is "on notice"
Iran defiant over nuclear program
Cyborg beetle flies by wireless
UN: Pace of climate change quickens
Record 8.7kg baby born in Indonesia
Thousands protest at G20
Deadly blasts hit northwest Pakistan
Hollywood power women honored
Bomb plot suspect flown to NY
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Good news on environment, but can it last?
There's nothing like a recession to help clear the air of toxins and drive down pump prices -- but we all know it can't last. Or can it? Full Article
Video: China's coal addiction hurts climate
Slideshow: Environment watch
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Journalism Handbook |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.