Sunday

15th Dec 2019

Merkel dominates German campaign videos

  • Angela Merkel promises a 'fair' society (Photo: CDU)

One month before general elections in Germany, the main parties have put out their campaign videos, with Chancellor Angela Merkel featuring prominently even in the opposition's clips.

Wearing a red jacket - the colour of the Social-Democratic opposition party - Merkel strikes a positive and conciliatory tone in her ad, which will be broadcast on TV ahead of general elections on 22 September.

Angela Merkel keeps her options open for a grand coalition with the Social-Democrats.
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"There are moments when a lot is at stake. For instance in the euro-crisis," she says.

Often criticised by the opposition and by southern EU countries for her slow decision-making, Merkel explains that she needs to "make sure I am doing the right thing."

"What is right is not always what is being asked for most vocally," she adds, hinting at calls for eurobonds or other forms of extra solidarity from affluent Germany to the cash-strapped south.

Boasting a strong economy and record-low unemployment - partly due to reforms undertaken by her Social-Democrat predecessor - Merkel takes only a minor stab at the opposition by rejecting the idea of tax increases.

With latest polls showing her Christian-Democrats and Liberal allies (47%) in a neck-in-neck race with the Social-Democrats, Greens and leftists (46%), all options are on the table for a coalition government.

The same opinion poll, carried out for the ZDF public broadcaster, also showed that over half of Germans are in favour of a grand coalition.

Merkel last week conceded that a grand coalition with the Social-Democrats is an option if the election result is inconclusive.

Meanwhile, the campaign video of the Social-Democrats focuses on the voters rather than the party's main candidate, Peer Steinbrueck, whose gaffes and lack of charisma have placed him far behind Merkel in voters' preferences.

The ZDF barometer puts him at 29 percent, while Merkel has a comfortable lead at 63 percent.

Germans do not elect their chancellor directly, however.

In the past, even popular chancellors - like Gerhard Schroeder - have failed to be re-elected when their parties did not score enough for a parliamentary majority.

The Greens, who are betting on Steinbrueck despite his shortcomings, are counting on this to make their case, as their top candidate, Juergen Trittin, told foreign press in Berlin earlier this week.

The Green campaign video is all about Merkel, portraying her as a "snail" for her slow decisions, and depicting her as keeping the country "in the dark."

Angela Merkel is compared to a spineless snail who has no sense of orientation other than "where the wind blows."

The Greens are also tipped as a potential coalition partner for Merkel and call themselves "the most pro-European party in Germany," in favour of giving EU institutions more powers, but still sticking to "sound" budget discipline.

The only manifestly anti-European party is the newly founded Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) whose video advocates for Greece to be kicked out of the euro and for a referendum to be held in Germany on what powers the EU should have.

AfD is not tipped to make it into the Bundestag, where parties need to score at least 5 percent of the overall vote to get in.

Greens accuse Merkel of weakening EU institutions

One month before general elections in Germany, political parties are intensifying their attacks on incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel, who still enjoys a comfortable lead in opinion polls.

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