No clear winner in Merkel-Steinbrueck debate

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democrat challenger in this month’s German election clashed over the euro, tax policy and U.S. spying in a television debate on Sunday that produced no clear winner.  According to, Steinbrueck accused the conservative chancellor, who is seeking a third term in the September 22 vote, of crushing southern European countries with austerity, failing to properly manage an exit from nuclear energy and overseeing a rise in low wage jobs. Merkel, 59, said SPD plans to raise taxes would put Germany’s prosperity at risk, and noted that Steinbrueck’s party had supported her euro policies throughout the crisis.
Steinbrueck also dismissed Merkel’s European policy as a “failure” because of continued recession and sky-high unemployment in the southern euro countries that have had to swallow deep spending cuts in exchange for bailouts.
Merkel retorted that it was under SPD chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that Greece had been allowed to join the euro in the first place.

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