Merkel Faces Challenger in Germany Election Debate

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has touted her government's economic record as she faces off against her center-left rival in their only live televised debate before Germany's Sept. 22 election.

The conservative incumbent said at the start of Sunday's debate, carried live on several channels, that Germany has more people in work than ever and pointed to her management of Europe's debt crisis. She said: "Germany is the motor of growth, Germany is the anchor of stability and I would like to continue this course."

Challenger Peer Steinbrueck said he wants to ensure greater "social justice," introducing a national minimum wage.

Recent surveys have given Merkel's conservative bloc a large lead over Steinbrueck's Social Democrats and suggested that her current center-right coalition can hope to win re-election.

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