With Germany in election mode, Chancellor Angela Merkel hints at tax cuts and appeals to citizens of Turkish descent for support.
The next federal election will be held in just over a year. On August 28, Merkel was interviewed on national television. Topics ranged from Eastern Europe’s reluctance to accept Muslim refugees, relations with Turkey, sanctions against Russia and the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
As reported by Bloomberg, Merkel sought to present herself as in control and her policies as the only way to maintain stability.
With election season upon her after Europe’s summer break, Merkel faces her next reckoning in two German state votes next month, one of them in her political homeland of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on September 4. Confronted with a populist challenge from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and polls suggesting half of Germans don’t want her to run again, she’s also dealing with mounting international challenges such as Brexit.
“We all agree that Britain’s exit is a deep watershed,” Merkel said in the nationally televised interview with broadcaster ARD. “Before jumping into some kind of hectic activity, maybe we should first think calmly about what we can do better.”
However, as reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, a new poll has found Germans are split over whether Merkel should seek a fourth term. Half of them were against a new term, while 42% were in favour, according to a survey published on August 28 in the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Within supporters of Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), 70% support another term for Merkel, while 22% said they were opposed.
In separate news, the Reuters news agency reported that support for Merkel has weakened after a string of violent attacks on civilians in July, three of which were carried out by asylum seekers. Of those, two were claimed by Islamic State.
This has raised opposition to Merkel’s open-door migrant policy, which allowed hundreds of thousands from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere into Germany last year.