German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the comfortable winner of Sunday night’s TV debate against her political rival Martin Schulz of the Social Democrats, according to a phone poll by state broadcaster ARD. The poll showed Mrs. Merkel received a 55% positive response compared to her opponent who got only 35%. According to the respondent, the German Chancellor was more reliable and convincing (49%) than Mr. Schulz (29%). Turkey, the refugee crisis and relations with Muslims living in Germany were some of the key issues that dominated the German Chancellor’s and the Social Democrat candidate’s only debate before the German elections on 24 September. Mrs. Merkel said it had become clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU, while Mr. Schulz promised to suspend talks on Turkey’s accession if he was elected. On the issue of the refugee crisis the leader of the Social Democratic party criticised the Chancellor for compelling EU leaders accept her policies without questioning. “We need a European solution”, he said. Both candidates agreed that millions of Muslims in Germany were a productive force on the country, but Mr. Schulz added that hate speakers had no place in German society.
Single debate before September 24 German elections