Chancellor Angela Merkel turned the campaign focus to her stewardship of Europe’s biggest economy, warning that plans by the opposition Social Democrats to raise taxes would upend Germany’s robust labor market.
Merkel used a rally in the eastern town of Wernigerode yesterday to dismiss the notion that the government must create jobs, instead touting her Christian Democratic Union party’s alliance with business. She redoubled her attacks on SPD chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck’s planned tax increases for the wealthier as “poison” for the economy.
“We shouldn’t burden those who are successful with a conversation about envy, but rather encourage them so that it’s better for us all,” Merkel told a crowd of several hundred supporters in the town at the foot of the Harz mountains, many of whom waved orange placards emblazoned with “Angie.”
Backing for the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, held at 41 percent in an FG Wahlen poll for ZDF television released today, while her Free Democratic coalition partner gained a point to 6 percent. That’s enough to secure a rerun for Merkel’s current government if repeated on Election Day, and the first time in almost four years this poll has shown a majority for the present coalition, ZDF said.