Evidently Germans aren’t that bothered by Islamic immigration. From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- The policy positions of Merkel and Schulz on key issues are virtually identical: Both candidates are committed to strengthening the European Union, maintaining open-door immigration policies, pursuing multiculturalism and quashing dissent from the so-called far right.
- Merkel and Schulz both agree that there should be no upper limit on the number of migrants entering Germany.
- Merkel’s grand coalition backed a law that would penalize social media giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, with fines of €50 million ($60 million) if they fail to remove offending content from their platforms within 24 hours. Observers say the law is aimed at silencing critics of Merkel’s open-door migration policy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is on track win a fourth term in office after polls confirmed she won the first and only televised debate with her main election opponent, Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democratic Union Party (SDP).
A survey for the public broadcaster ARD showed that 55% of viewers thought Merkel was the “more convincing” candidate during the debate, which took place on September 3; only 35% said Schulz came out ahead.
Many observers agreed that Schulz failed to leverage the debate to revive his flagging campaign, while others noted that Schulz’s positions on many issues are virtually indistinguishable from those held by Merkel.
Rainald Becker, an ARD commentator, described the debate as, “More a duet than a duel.”
“Merkel came out as sure, Schulz was hardly able to land a punch,” wrote Heribert Prantl, a commentator at Süddeutsche Zeitung. “The candidate is an honorable man. But being honorable alone will not make him chancellor.”
Christian Lindner, leader of the classical liberal Free Democrats, compared the debate to “scenes from a long marriage, where there is the occasional quarrel, but both sides know that they have to stick together in the future, too.”
Television presenter Günther Jauch, writing in Bild, said he had hoped to “at least understand what differentiates Merkel and Schulz in political terms. Instead, it was just a conversation between two political professionals who you suspect could both work pretty seamlessly in the same government.”
To continue reading: Germany Heading for Four More Years of Pro-EU, Open-Door Migration Policies