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Digitalization, refugees on tap as German campaign season heats up

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Issues of digitalization and refugee policy are dominating this weekend as the chancellor candidates from Germany‘s two leading parties intensify their campaigns.

At a Saturday election campaign event for her Conservative Democratic Union (CDU) party, Merkel spoke in favour of central nationwide internet portal public access to all levels of government.

"No matter whether you are contacting your federal, your state or local government, you will have access," she said.

Applications for child benefit allowance, for child care facilities or reporting residence could be handled through the portal, she said, without mentioning a date for implementing of the idea.

Germany, however, is in great need of catching up in the digitalization, she said in the speech, stating that the country was nowhere near a leading position in Europe, let alone in the world.

Meanwhile, the leader of the centre left Social Democrats (SPD), Martin Schulz, intends to announce on Sunday his party‘s "Plan for the Future for Germany," which includes an Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development-supported initiative to set aside up to 20,000 euros (22,930 dollars) for further education for every employed worker older than 18.

The initiative is an attempt to answer the problem of digital change in the labour market. A similar project was started in France earlier this year.

The position paper - abstracts of which dpa has obtained - will also deal with international issues, including migration.

The party promises to withhold funding from EU states that refuse to accept refugees.


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