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BACKGROUND Countdown to the German elections: 6 weeks to go

Europe
11.08.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel returned to her desk from holiday this week as election campaigning steps up a gear.

Merkel is planning to make more than 50 stops in the next six weeks as she makes her bid for a fourth term as head of Europe‘s biggest economy.

THE NUMBERS:

Scandals surrounding the relationship between German politics and the country‘s influential carmakers continue to pose a threat to Merkel‘s popularity. A poll by broadcaster ARD found that 57 per cent of respondents have lost trust in the car industry.

That same survey found that satisfaction with Merkel dropped 10 percentage points to 59 per cent. But she is still ahead of her challenger, Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz, whose ratings also went down in the ARD poll.

Touching on an issue that has dominated recent elections in other Western countries, a poll by YouGov found that almost half - 48 per cent - of Germans see fake news as a threat.

However, 54 per cent said spreading deliberate misinformation is nothing new.

MEETINGS OF NOTE:

Merkel makes her first major campaign appearance on Saturday at a Christian Democrat (CDU) rally in Dortmund.

On Monday, she is scheduled to give an interview to broadcasters Phoenix and Deutschlandfunk.

That same day, Kathrin Goering-Eckardt and Cem Ozdemir hit the road as leading candidates for the Greens, starting their campaign trail at an event in Berlin.

On Thursday, it‘s Schulz‘s turn to face questions in an interview with Pheonix and Deutschlandfunk.

THE WORD ON THE STREET:

"I will, of course, stand again for re-election at the next party congress."

Still struggling to catch up in the polls, Martin Schulz says he won‘t stand down as SPD leader even if he loses the election.

THE LATEST:

Campaign posters have cropped up on German streets, with those of the right-populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) gaining most attention - particularly one showing two tanned, slim women on a beach with the slogan: "Burqas? We like bikinis!"

 

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