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World In German leadership race, 'Boring Olaf' bets on craving for stability

16:20  21 september  2021
16:20  21 september  2021 Source:   reuters.com

3 contrasting candidates seek chancellery in German election

  3 contrasting candidates seek chancellery in German election BERLIN (AP) — Germany is seeing its first three-way contest for the chancellery, with the environmentalist Greens joining the country's two traditional big parties in fielding a candidate. Chancellor Angela Merkel said nearly three years ago that she wouldn't seek a fifth four-year term. That set up the first election since West Germany's inaugural vote, in 1949, in which there is no incumbent seeking re-election. The center-left SocialChancellor Angela Merkel said nearly three years ago that she wouldn't seek a fifth four-year term. That set up the first election since West Germany's inaugural vote, in 1949, in which there is no incumbent seeking re-election.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Throughout his campaign to become Germany's chancellor, Social Democrat Olaf Scholz has told voters his experience and steadfastness make him Angela Merkel's natural successor.

Olaf Scholz wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: FILE PHOTO: German lawmakers question Scholz over anti-money laundering probe days before election © Reuters/MICHELE TANTUSSI FILE PHOTO: German lawmakers question Scholz over anti-money laundering probe days before election

Often labelled "boring", the 63-year-old finance minister has cast himself as a man of action who can be trusted to get things done.

"I'm applying for chancellor, not to be a circus ringmaster," he told women's magazine Brigitte.

His strategy appears to be paying off. The vice chancellor and former Hamburg mayor is the frontrunner in Sunday's national election, with opinion polls https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/german-social-democrats-lead-narrows-days-before-election-2021-09-21 putting the Social Democrats ahead of the conservatives even though their rivals have narrowed the gap.

As Merkel bids farewell, German women wish for more equality

  As Merkel bids farewell, German women wish for more equality BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel, Germany's first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record over her 16 years at Germany's helm reveals missed opportunities for fighting gender inequality at home. Named “The World’s Most Powerful Woman” by Forbes magazine for the last 10 years in a row, Merkel has been cast as a powerful defender of liberal values in the West. She has easily stood her ground at male-dominated summits with leaders such as former U.S. President Donald Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Despite an attack by conservative candidate Armin Laschet on his record on tackling money laundering https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/merkel-ally-presses-spds-scholz-over-money-laundering-probe-2021-09-10 in the third and final televised debate https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/merkel-aide-warns-against-protracted-coalition-talks-tv-debate-nears-2021-09-19, a snap poll showed Scholz won to take a clean sweep of the debates.

Merkel is not seeking a fifth term after 16 years as chancellor and, with rival campaigns marred by blunders, Scholz's predictability has helped him push ahead of his rivals.

While promising continuity and stability, Scholz has been distancing himself from the conservatives. He says they have been too cozy with business and he promises https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/scholz-sprint-shakes-up-race-succeed-germanys-merkel-2021-08-24, if elected, to increase the minimum wage, tighten rent controls and maintain high public investment in greener, more digital infrastructure.

As finance minister, Scholz has won praise from the International Monetary Fund for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. During his 3-1/2-year tenure, Scholz has ditched balanced budgets at home and helped create the European Union's pandemic recovery fund, overcoming Merkel's initial resistance.

With France, Scholz also drove efforts to introduce a global corporate minimum tax and new tax rules for tech giants.

(Reporting by Freerk Heinz and Tanya Wood, Writing by Tomasz Janowski, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

Under Olaf Scholz, Germany May Have to Choose Between the U.S. and China .
One expert said the Greens present the biggest hope for change in Germany-China relations.The German finance minister has the best shot of forming a new government after leading his Social Democratic Party (SPD) to a narrow victory on Sunday's parliamentary elections. His more conservative CDU rival Armin Laschet plans to fight on.

usr: 0
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