Angela Merkel Defeated her Opponent Martin Schulz in a TV Debate

Politics | September 4, 2017, Monday // 11:00
Bulgaria: Angela Merkel Defeated her Opponent Martin Schulz in a TV Debate Source: Twitter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defeated Social Democrat Martin Schulz in a TV debate last night, according to a study by ARD Television.

Three weeks before the parliamentary elections in Germany, the two main contenders for the chancellery stood up against each other in a television debate. Refugees, Turkey, and relations with US President Donald Trump were the main topics involved in the debate.
49 per cent of viewers watching the TV debate believe Merkel is more convincing and more suitable for Germany's leader in the current global situatuion. For 29%, Social Democrat Schulz was better off.

The two contenders participated in a 97-minute TV debate ahead of German parliamentary elections on September 24th. At the beginning, Schulz adopted a more aggressive approach. The first hot topic was Turkey. Martin Schultz said: "If I become Chancellor, I will stop Turkey's membership talks with the European Union." Merkel replied: "I have never been sure Turkey will join the EU, and now I will look carefully at the options." She said it was for immediate suspension of pre-accession aid for Turkey, but she had to talk with other European leaders on a common position to end the membership talks.

Schulz attacked her for her refugee policy by accusing her of releasing refugees in the country in September 2015 without discussing it with her European counterparts, DPA reported. Merkel defended her decision not to close the borders to the refugees. "We can not target water cannons" against those who are trying to enter Germany, she said, pointing out that the federal republic has very long borders that are hard to control. For the chancellor, who struggles for the fourth mandate, the migrants turned out to be a severe test, which brought a temporary downfall in ratings. In 2015 890,000 refugees arrived in Germany, and another 280,000 the following year. Most of them are from Syria and Afghanistan. During the debate, she defended her position that refugees did not pose a threat to the country, but admitted that their integration had proved more difficult than predicted. According to her, these people have a place in German society, but they have to be provided with opportunities for education and work.

At the same time, she insisted on solving the problems that led to the migratory pressure - the war in Syria. Schulz insisted on more measures against terrorism in the country.

Martin Schultz has announced that US President Donald Trump has pushed the world to the brink of crisis with his tweets for North Korea and said that Germany should work with its European partners, Canada, Mexico and the US opposition.

Merkel responded that she had talks with French President Emmanuel Macrone on North Korea on Saturday and will talk to Trump as well as the leaders of Russia, China, Japan and South Korea in the coming days. "I do not think anyone can solve this conflict without the US president. But I think it must be stated as clearly as possible that we are only capable of a peaceful diplomatic solution", Merkel said. The two argued about domestic issues such as Dieselgate and the corruption in the government providing umbrella to the directors of such comapnies, according to Schultz.

According to the analysts, although he was offensive, Schultz failed to bring Merkel a heavy political blow, and the debate is unlikely to help the Social Democrats turn the trend into electoral attitudes. Still, about 50 per cent of voters have yet to decide who they are going to vote for.

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Tags: Germany, elections, TV debate
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