Voters in Germany’s most populous state could send an anti-austerity message to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party on Sunday as they go to the polls in a regional election.
While many Germans support deep public sector cuts across Europe as a result of the eurozone debt crisis, the main opposition parties in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia think the booming domestic economy offers an opportunity to slow the rate of austerity cuts.
The state is a traditional centre-left stronghold which is voting three years ahead of other regions after its current minority government failed to get its budget passed in March. But a large swing to the left would be seen by many analysts as a key indicator to next year’s national election.
Merkel, has sought to label the state government – which covers the cities of Cologne, Dortmund and Dusseldorf as irresponsible and spendthrift. She
said there was no need for the region to take on even more debt.