Germany elections: Merkel leads Schulz in polls

Trevor Jackson
September 4, 2017

The main surprise of the 90-minute debate - the only one of the election, three weeks before polling day - was a hardening of Mrs Merkel's position on Turkey, with a vow to seek an end to its European Union accession talks after Mr Schulz said that he would end the membership process.

Merkel argued that the cease of the accession talks with Turkey can only be decided in the concert of the European Union states.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said although "radical Islamists" are perpetrating acts of terror in Europe, she still believed that "Islam belongs to Germany".

In a sharp escalation of an already intensifying diplomatic crisis between two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies with longstanding historical links, Merkel said: "It is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the European Union". She has previously said she would respect the talks.

Angela Merkel successfully fended off the attacks of her main election rival during a largely consensual live TV debate watched by millions of voters.

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Brussels, which has already frozen Turkey's entry negotiations, is now likely to consider further actions.

Given a minute for a closing speech at the end of the debate, Merkel turned back to her now-infamous slogan "we'll manage this" that had marked the refugee crisis. She also urged to better screening asylum seekers on for what reasons they come to Germany. Latest polls showed Merkel's CDU party and their Bavarian CSU sister enjoying about 17 percentage point lead over Schulz' SPD, which hoped to save the election campaign with the TV debate.

Ms Merkel responded by saying that she had implemented the first article of the German constitution which upholds human rights. But Merkel countered that: "In the life of a chancellor, there comes a time when you have to make a quick decision".

But both leaders agreed to promise action on one of the most sensitive political issues, delays in the deportation of failed asylum seekers.

Erdogan added to the tensions this month when he urged ethnic Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel's conservatives and their coalition partners, the Social Democrats, in September 24 elections.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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