One of the candidates for Chancellor in Germany’s upcoming election has defended his plan to create four million new jobs in the next ten years. Unemployment is rising in Germany, and Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier dismissed criticism that it was an election ploy to boost his party’s flagging campaign.
The SPD is lagging about 12 points behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, and polls say only 13 per cent of voters believe he can win next month. The SPD has wheeled out its heavy hitters including party secretary Franz Munteferring in the hope of improving its fortunes. But the party faces being squeezed between a likely tie-up of the conservatives and the resurgent Liberal FDP, and the Left which has ambitions of taking votes in traditional SPD territory.