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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Duel on cushions: debate Merkel and Schulz

Last Sunday, the long-awaited televised debate between the two main candidates for Chancellor of Germany the head of the Christian democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel and leader of the Social democratic party of Germany (SPD) Martin Schulz. The spectators were disappointed: the main issues and did not hear, and supposedly irreconcilable opponents have demonstrated a surprising unanimity.

photo: AP

Teleduel expected, primarily those who have not yet decided for whom to vote in parliamentary elections on 24 September. Millions of viewers wanted to hear from the two main opponents and their opinions on a number of pressing issues: policy of education, higher rents in big cities, the threat of German society in the face of the increasingly popular radicals.

In the centre of discussion was the migration policy and the issue of integration of Muslims in German society. Martin Schulz called the mistake the made Merkel almost alone, the decision to open the borders for refugees. According to the head of the social Democrats, the Chancellor was to consult with EU partners, as with the negative consequences of this decision in the end had to face the entire European Union. Merkel’s stubbornness led to the fact that many European countries such as Poland and Hungary, were not ready to go to the hundreds of thousands of migrants, said Schultz. In his view, all this brought a split in the once unified Europe.

For consideration of this issue was spent two-thirds of airtime. The key to Schultz’s words, namely, “social justice” was only at the last minute, when the discussion of these questions was no time.

The rate could be made to the discussion of foreign policy issues: the head of the SPD has long advocated Turkey’s membership in the EU, while the current Chancellor of Germany was never a supporter of the accession of the Turks to the European family. But here, the spectators were disappointed: the heads of both parties unanimously expressed the desire to tighten policy towards Ankara. To this decision the leadership of Germany came after the arrest in Turkey of six German defenders, who are suspected in helping the terrorists. Now the social Democrats (or at least their leader) opposed the entry of Turkey into the European Union. Schultz said, “Turkey has crossed the red line”.

Another important topic for discussion was the intention of the former head of the Cabinet of Germany Gerhard schröder (SPD) to join the Board of Directors of Russian oil company. According to Merkel, such a decision “undermines the sanctions regime against the company in the sanctions list of the EU.” Schulz also condemned the plans of the party. “He wasn’t supposed to do that,” succinctly expressed Schultz. To the remark of the leader of what the shredder does not listen to the leader of his party, Schultz sharply retorted: “this election is not about the future of Herr Schroeder, but about the future of Germany.”

According to opinion polls, three weeks before parliamentary elections, the balance of power was for the social Democrats disappointing: Merkel speech found more convincing 55% watching TV-a duel in favor of Schultz voted only 35% of respondents. The culmination of the confrontation between two main candidates, the televised debates did not become, and it was the confrontation?

Sanctions . Chronicle of events

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