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Candidates clash in final pre-election television debate in Germany | WGN Radio 720

From the right, people walk past the election posters of the three prime minister candidates. From the right, Armin Laschet, Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Annalena Baerbock, German Green Party (Die Gruenen), Olaf Scholz, Social Democratic Party (SPD), street. On Thursday, September 23, 2021, three days before the general election on Sunday, September 26, 2021, in Gersenkirchen, Germany. (AP Photo / Martin Meissner)

Berlin (AP) —Three candidates hoping to take over Angela Merkel as German Chancellor and four leaders from other parties currently in parliament have had their final television debate before the election on Sunday. Clashed on Thursday on various topics.

Unlike previous discussions that repeatedly focused on climate change, poverty, and other domestic topics, the candidate also discussed foreign policy issues for the first time.

Olaf Scholz, the Social Democratic Party on the left, who is now the German Finance Minister, said that closer cooperation within Europe is needed, but at the same time the EU needs to continue to work closely with the United States and NATO. ..

“We are a big country in the middle of the European Union with the largest population and the greatest economic power,” Scholz said. “Therefore, we need to make Europe speak in a more united voice.”

His closest rival, Centre-Right Coalition Block Armin Laschet, also called for a stronger and more united Europe, adding that the continent should cooperate with a common weapons project.

“We need more Europe, we need to speak in one voice,” Rachette said. “We need to start the project together, and we need to arm the project so we can act together.”

Greens candidate Annalena Baerbock said Europe needs to find a common approach to how to interact with China.

“I want to make sure that one (EU) country does not play against the other (EU) country, creating a unified European approach to China,” she said.

Candidates and leaders also confronted how to solve housing shortages in Germany’s big cities, fight hatred on social media, and tackle the radicalization of protests against pandemic restrictions.

Merkel’s coalition block and its candidate for prime minister, Rachette, have made a small profit in the last few weeks of polls. But it remains slightly behind Scholz’s central left Social Democratic Party.

Greens, who is the first to advocate a candidate for prime minister, is in third place, but can play Kingmaker when it comes to forming a government.

The number of parties with close competition and significant support means that the next government will be determined by post-election coalition negotiations between at least two and more likely three parties.

Merkel, the prime minister since 2005, has not sought a fifth four-year term.

Just over 60 million Germans elect a new parliament. The party with the most seats tries to establish a coalition government and lets its members elect the prime minister.

Follow the Associated Press coverage of the German elections at https://apnews.com/hub/germany-election

Candidates clash in final pre-election television debate in Germany | WGN Radio 720

Source link Candidates clash in final pre-election television debate in Germany | WGN Radio 720

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