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Merkel coalition leads a week ahead of national elections in Germany

Sunday, September 15th 2013 - 18:11 UTC
Full article 4 comments
The pictorial “interview” with no verbal responses of German candidate Social democrat leader Peer Steinbrück The pictorial “interview” with no verbal responses of German candidate Social democrat leader Peer Steinbrück
The German Chanecellor, despite not much love in some EU countries, en route to victory The German Chanecellor, despite not much love in some EU countries, en route to victory

The opposition Social Democrats has gained slightly in the last pre-election opinion poll by German public broadcaster ARD. Their candidate, Peer Steinbrück has raised some eyebrows by raising one of his own digits in a weekly newspaper supplement.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper regularly publishes pictorial “interviews” with no verbal responses, whose title roughly translates as “say nothing for now,” in its SZ-Magazin supplement published each Friday.

Asked his response to the nicknames like “the Problem-Peer” or “Peerlusconi” that have arisen as a result of some campaign gaffes, Steinbrück raised his left middle finger at the camera.

“You don't always need words to speak clearly - for instance if you're constantly confronted by yesterday's news, instead of being asked about the really important issues,” Steinbrück said on his official Twitter account.

At a campaign event on Thursday evening, Steinbrück spoke about the unique form of the interview that asks for an emotional response.

“You have to be a little theatrical. And I hope that this republic has the necessary sense of humor to correctly interpret these gesticulations and grimaces which must be used to answer the questions,” Steinbrück said, adding he was not aware that his rogue digit was destined for the magazine's front cover.

Merkel's senior Christian Democrats did not immediately respond. The leader of their junior coalition partners the Free Democrats, Philipp Rösler, said on Twitter that “this gesture rules you out as a candidate for chancellor. You just can't do that.” The socialist Left Party was similarly critical, with senior member Bernd Riexinger telling the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung that the middle finger marked the “official end of Peer Steinbrück's candidacy for chancellor.”

Yet, in opinion polls released on Friday morning, Steinbrück's Social Democrats had made slight gains, taking one percentage point away from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

With just over a week before the national election, German public broadcaster ARD released the last installment of its regular Deutschlandtrend opinion poll, with the Christian Democrats slipping to 40% support and the Social Democrats climbing to 28%.

The Social Democrats' main allies, the Greens, held firm at 10% after their summer slump from around the 15% mark, and the socialist Left party stood at 8%.

Combining the projected tallies of the three main left-of-center parties would put them level-pegging with the current German coalition - however, the Greens and Social Democrats currently claim they are unwilling to team up with the Left party.

The most serious coalition negotiations will likely take place after the September 22 votes are counted. With Merkel's Free Democrat allies teetering right on the 5% threshold, which parties must reach to guarantee representation in the German parliament, several constellations of government remain conceivable.

A grand coalition uniting the Christian and Social Democrats was the most popular scenario with participants of the ARD poll. In effect, 47% of participants believed such an alliance would be “good for Germany,” 41% were excited by a Social Democrat and Green government, and 38% believed a continuation of the current coalition would be good for the country.

 

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  • A_Voice

    “this gesture rules you out as a candidate for chancellor. You just can't do that.”

    What you need to do is ..... straighten all the fingers and perhaps extend your arm out in front of you......then perhaps!

    Sep 16th, 2013 - 02:35 pm 0
  • Briton

    They say,
    When Germany finally wakes up to the fact that their wealth is being squandered by other European countries,

    It may well pull the plug. and shut up shop, on this European gravy train..

    Still.
    As long as France is in the driving seat,
    This insurance job will cost Germany billions…?
    .

    Sep 16th, 2013 - 02:43 pm 0
  • BOTINHO

    Peer Steinbrück, the gift that keeps on giving.

    As Mekel's Finance Minister, he once stated that when he did not receive cooperation from another country, he would using force. “ In the old days, we used to use the Whip ! ”

    That thinking should have ended with the demise of the Nazi's in 1945. Unfortunately, it remains a problem for managing the EU, and the EU members struggling under the financial burdens placed on them.

    I suspect this man has a nice dark uniform and a set of shiny jackboots in his home closet.

    Sep 16th, 2013 - 03:23 pm 0
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