Ahead of elections in September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU-CSU Union have released their election platform.
Although the platform shies away from the migrant crisis, which threatened to tear apart the sister parties in its peak, it promises full employment by 2025. The Union considers this to be an unemployment level of under 3%, a level not seen since the height of the economic miracle in the early 70s. At present, Germany’s unemployment rate is about 5.5%, a post-reunification low.
The CDU has refused to comply with the CSU’s demand for a 200,000 cap on migrants.
The platform also promises to add 15,000 police officers throughout the country, and build 1.5 million homes by 2021.
Also pledged is a 15 billion euro tax cut across the board. Germany has run a surplus for the past several years. Finance Minister Schäuble has said that the government could hopes that the tax cuts would be bigger once implemented.
In foreign policy, the platform dropped the word “friend” and “friendship” in relation to the U.S., where relations between Trump and Merkel have been rocky. The U.S. is now referred to as a “partner” in global policy.
During his 2016 election campaign, Trump referred to Merkel as “insane” and her policies on the migrant crisis a “disaster.” The two also disagree on major issues including climate change. Trump has also repeatedly blasted Germany and other European countries for their trade surpluses with the U.S., and for owing “massive sums” to NATO.
The CDU-CSU currently leads Martin Schulz’s SPD by around 16% in the polls. Schulz, who became the SPD’s leader in January, initially boosted his party’s popularity to around Merkel’s level, but has since lost momentum. The CDU ousted two SPD governments on the regional level since Schulz has taken over.
(Image: Sueddeutsche Zeitung)