Supporters and detractors of Germany’s Angela Merkel turned out to hear her speak at a rally in Seligenstadt near Frankfurt.
The chancellor was booed by some protesters as she addressed the crowds.
She took time to mock a suggestion by the Green party that Germans cut down on their meat consumption, saying: “Now you have to decide if it’s more important to you and your life that someone tells you to not eat meat on Thursdays, or is it more important to you and your life that we have succeeded during the last eight years, while I have been the chancellor, not to have more than five million unemployed, but fewer than three million.”
Some of those demonstrating, held banners reading “Merkel, stop watching us”, a reference to the German government’s part in the US’s NSA surveillance programme.
The leaders of the Green party have stated they would raise taxes for the rich – a policy Merkel denounced as “poison”.
With five weeks to go until election day, Merkel’s Conservatives hold a comfortable 15 point lead over the Social Democrats, making it very likely she will win a third term.