Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Merkel challenger vows fight for "more justice" in Germany

Merkel challenger vows fight for Merkel challenger vows fight for "more justice" in Germany
Melinda Barton | 29 June, 2017, 09:12

But as Schulz himself had admitted, his party faces a "rocky road" to national elections after it was soundly beaten for the third state election in a row this year by Merkel's CDU.

Social Democrats chief Martin Schulz lashed out Sunday at the German leader, saying the famously cautious Merkel caused voters to disengage by refusing to air her views or engage in forceful debate. A YouGov poll conducted in May found 66 percent of almost 1,110 respondents were in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, with 57 percent saying that adoption by gay couples should be allowed. Ultimately, Germany's majority government will depend on CDU's negotiations with other victorious parties as the general election draws closer.

Following Merkel's comments, German politicians writing on Twitter called for a vote to be held as soon as possible.

Merkel's comfortable lead is attributed to the momentum her party has built in winning 3 straight regional elections.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, looks on as she arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Mrs Merkel's move wrongfooted the SPD, who have made a pledge to legalise gay marriage a central plank of their election manifesto.

Merkel challenger vows fight for

Schulz's call for a more equal society may find resonance with the working poor, but Koecher noted that with Germany's solid economic outlook and record low unemployment, "it is likely to have limited impact".

She said her thinking had changed after a "memorable experience" when she recently met a lesbian couple who lovingly care for eight foster children in her Baltic coast constituency.

"What (Germany) shouldn't do is take an anti-American course", Ralf Stegner, deputy leader of the center-left opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD), told CNBC's Squawk Box Monday.

Could Germany be headed for a parliament vote on marriage equality? "Now Europe must be founded again", said Mr Schulz, stressing the importance of human rights, disarmament and investing in digital infrastructure.

Polls now give Merkel's conservatives a double-digit national lead ahead of the September 24 vote, with Schulz's Social Democrats sagging following a surge earlier this year. Merkel stated back in 2013 that she was "unsure" about gay couples adopting children citing uncertainty over "what is good for the child".

Merkel's about-turn opens the door for her CDU to form potential alliances after the September 24 vote, with either current partners the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens or the Free Democrats (FDP), who all favour gay marriage.