Monday, August 22, 2005

Polls show slim Bundestag majority for Merkel

Polls show slim Bundestag majority for Merkel

After weeks of slipping support, German opposition chancellor candidate Angela Merkel got some good news Friday with latest voter surveys showing five of the country's six leading opinion polls giving her a slim parliamentary majority. The weekly ZDF TV poll reported a one point rise for Merkel's CDU/CSU to 43 per cent, with its designated Free Democratic (FDP) partner at 7 per cent. Germany's top six polls give a possible CDU/CSU-FDP coalition between 49 per cent and 51 per cent of the seats in Germany's Bundestag, or lower house of parliament. Rising support for the CDU/CSU comes despite intense controversy over comments by CSU Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber that eastern German voters were "frustrated" and "stupid calves."

Merkel angers Poles over memorial to German expellees

Germany's would-be chancellor Angela Merkel has angered Poles with her support for controversial plans to build a memorial to the nine million Germans expelled from Eastern Europe after WWII. On her visit to Warsaw earlier this week, Ms Merkel told her Polish hosts that, if elected, her government would back the project, arguing that while she understood the concerns in Poland, "We are not trying to relativise suffering, just document it," the Independent reported. The idea to publicly recognise the violence carried out against the Germans fleeing from the countries the Nazi had occupied between 1939 and 1945 has caused concerns in both Poland and the Czech Republic.


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