Monday 23 October 2017

Anti-euro party heaps pressure on Merkel

German Chancellor and conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel
German Chancellor and conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel

Albert Rees Berlin

A new poll shows an anti-euro party winning just enough support to enter parliament in Germany's eagerly anticipated election this Sunday.

The rise in popularity of the party underpins the uncertainty over what government will emerge, and will not ease any nerves Chancelor Angela Merkel may have.

The Alternative for Germany party advocates an "orderly break-up" of the eurozone. No party wants to govern with it, but if it wins the 5pc, that could further complicate Ms Merkel's chances of forming a government with her current centre-right coalition.

The INSA poll of 2,248 people for 'Bild' newspaper shows the party hitting 5pc for the first time in months. Other recent polls give the party 3-4pc.

There have been three issues in the campaign so far. Firstly, to tax or not to tax? Ms Merkel's opponents want to raise the income tax rate for top earners to 49pc from 42pc. A minimum wage? Ms Merkel's opponents want to introduce a mandatory minimum wage of €8.50.

And thirdly, Europe's debt crisis. Ms Merkel says Germany must keep insisting that struggling countries fulfil tough conditions in exchange for aid.

Irish Independent

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