Source Pravda.Ru

Germany's Schroeder, Merkel square off in key television debate

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder reminded Germans of his opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq while challenger Angela Merkel zeroed in on high unemployment Sunday in their only head-to-head televised debate, two weeks ahead of the Sept. 18 election.

Schroeder, needing a knockout punch with his Social Democrats trailing Merkel's Christian Democrats by a double-digit margin, launched straight into a defense of his welfare-state and labor-market reforms. He also immediately sought to score points with his popular opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

He also claimed credit for "a foreign policy that has positioned Germany abroad as a middle-sized power for peace _ which contributed, and I had to take some criticism for that, to keeping Germany out of the Iraq war, for example."

Merkel shot back with a barb at Schroeder's struggles over the past two years to overcome resistance within his Social Democrats to his limited reform drive, which she proposes extending.

A poll of 1,276 people carried out for ARD television after the debate found that 49 percent believed Schroeder _ a seasoned television performer _ fared better overall, against 33 percent for Merkel. The channel cautioned that the result was in line with expectations and could not be translated into voting intentions.

Experts have argued that Sunday's debate _ the only one-on-one encounter of the campaign _ could help determine what coalition emerges from the election, AP reports.

Comments
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, capitals and puppets
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, capitals and puppets
US-led coalition killed more than 9,000 people in Syria since 2014
US-led coalition killed more than 9,000 people in Syria since 2014
US-led coalition killed more than 9,000 people in Syria since 2014
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Russian special services detain Hizb ut-Tahrir members in Crimea
Donbass without militia will be worse than Srebrenica - Putin
Russian scientists find a way to look inside black holes
Russia not pulling out from any international agreements, Putin says
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, capitals and puppets
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, capitals and puppets
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, capitals and puppets
North Korea is not a threat to the US
Russia's S-500 Prometey to nail USA's THAAD to the wall
Putin: Russia will continue spending enough on defence not to be killed
Russia leaves Syria, but USA stays, to spend some more
100th anniversary of Great October Revolution: Celebrating mountain of errors
ISIS threatens to conduct large-scale terrorist attacks in USA for Jerusalem decision