Germany’s Social Democrat Party has given the upcoming general election some much-needed fizz by accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of ducking a debate ahead of the vote on September 27.
The left-leaning SPD is trailing Merkel’s Christian Democrats in the polls. Its leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier has become frustrated by Merkel’s tactics, which have meant less campaigning and more leading as Germany deals with its worst recession in 65 years. “I really believe that we cannot go on like we did before the holidays and spend another seven weeks until the election by telling party members not to do any campaigning but only to produce posters,” Steinmeier said. One of the posters shows Merkel and her Berlin candidate side-by-side with low-cut tops with the slogan: “We have more to offer.” Merkel has just returned from holiday and will attend her first election rally on Saturday, less than two months before voting. Many believe Merkel will win the election and then drop the Social Democrats as they have an uneasy relationship as part of Germany’s right-left coalition. The Chancellor is considering forming a centre-right administration with the pro-business Free Democrats.