Germany elections: Merkel leads Schulz in polls

For Schulz the debate with Merkel may be the last chance to build momentum for the September 24 vote

For Schulz the debate with Merkel may be the last chance to build momentum for the September 24 vote

Speaking in a TV interview last week, Merkel labeled diesel and other combustion engines "bridge technologies" toward a cleaner future and added that diesel cars would be needed not just for years, but "for decades more".

On 1st September, tensions grew again when Merkel said Germany should react decisively to Ankara's detention of two additional German citizens, as calls grew in Germany for Berlin to issue a formal travel warning for Turkey, a popular tourist destination for many Germans.

The German chancellor was seemingly bounced into making this unusually bold pledge by Martin Schulz, her social democrat challenger, who was the first to say he would break off the talks if he won the parliamentary poll on September 24.

Will Merkel's low-key, serious style win her a fourth term as chancellor of Germany?

Schulz accused Merkel of failing to coordinate plans with European Union neighbours when she made a decision to open Germany's borders in 2015 to allow in refugees, many from war-torn Syria and Iraq. The decision needs careful consideration.

"The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU", Merkel said after Schulz said he would stop Turkey's bid to join the EU if elected chancellor.

Gas prices surge higher as drivers rush to fill tanks
Motor fuel prices climbed as much as 6.6 percent in NY , advancing for an eighth session, while crude oil was little changed. "The lines remain down from Houston to Hebert due to the storms", notes the Colonial Pipeline Company's website.

Turkey began accession talks to join the European Union in 2005, however, talks have halted amid criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown on political opponents.

"Careful", Merkel snapped back, stressing that an election campaign should not be a contest over geopolitical questions such as how to deal with Ankara.

Twelve German citizens are now in Turkish detention on political charges, four of them holding dual citizenship. According to a survey last week, it was likely to influence the voting decision of nearly 7 million of the 61.5 million Germans eligible to vote. After the debate, 53 percent supported Merkel and 39 percent backed Schulz.

The exchange over Turkey was the high point of a wide-ranging debate in which Mr Schulz attacked Ms Merkel with surprising force over Turkey and also over refugee policy.

When asked who performed better in the debate, 32 percent said Merkel, 29 percent said Schulz and 39 percent said there was no difference between the two. Some 55 per cent of those polled for ARD television found the chancellor convincing against 35 per cent for Mr Schulz.

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