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New Stoiber gaffe hits German conservatives

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New Stoiber gaffe hits German conservatives

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Germany’s conservatives are in trouble again, a month before the country’s general election.

For the second time in a matter of weeks, Bavarian Prime Minister, Edmund Stoiber, has provoked a storm of criticism by denigrating east Germans. It is a blow to the Cristian unions, who had hoped to take over from the Socialists as the main political party in the east. The papers are full of Stoiber’s comments. Last month the leader of the CSU was reported to have described east Germans as “frustrated”, although he says he was actually referring to left wing leaders. This time he is making headlines for saying east Germans are not as well-educated as Bavarians. Angela Merkel, an east German and the leader of the CDU, was widely-tipped to become the country’s new Chancellor in September. But according to polls, the conservatives, while still ahead of rivals, are losing ground.