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One-fifth of Germans want Merkel to resign

AFP · 16 Jun 2010, 18:02

Published: 16 Jun 2010 18:02 GMT+02:00

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The Forsa survey commissioned by Stern magazine showed 20 percent of those polled want Merkel to throw in the towel following a torrid eight months since winning a second term in September at the head of a centre-right coalition.

A separate poll for ARD public television showed that only 12 percent of Germans were satisfied with the centre-right government's performance, versus 86 percent who said they were fed up with the administration.

The conservative Merkel has been pilloried for her handling of the eurozone debt crisis and for squabbling in her new coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).

She has also come under fire for more than €80 billion worth of spending cuts unveiled last week that cut social benefits but did not raise taxes for top earners, prompting angry street protests last Saturday.

According to the ARD survey, Merkel's personal popularity hit a record low since she became chancellor nearly five years ago, with only 40 percent supporting her.

Another ARD poll on Sunday showed 53 percent of voters believing that the coalition will not serve out its full four-year term.

Der Spiegel magazine's front cover this week screamed: "Aufhören!" ("Give up!").

Commentators believe Merkel faces a make-or-break moment on June 30 when a special assembly elects a new president to replace Horst Köhler, the Merkel ally who abruptly resigned on May 31.

Several FDP members have said they will not vote for Merkel's pick for the largely ceremonial post, regional premier Christian Wulff, preferring instead opposition candidate Joachim Gauck, a former East German human rights activist.

Gauck is also more popular than Wulff, 50, among the German public, surveys have shown, and the self-effacing 70-year-old, the candidate of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens, has also become something of a media darling.

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Forty-seven percent blame the poor performance of the new government on the FDP, whose feisty leader Guido Westerwelle campaigned on a platform of cutting taxes in Europe's biggest economy, the Forsa poll showed.

Twenty-two percent want Merkel to ditch the FDP and return to the unwieldy old coalition of her first term with the centre-left SPD.

The Forsa poll was conducted Thursday and Friday among a representative sample of 1,000 registered voters.

The ARD survey was conducted Monday and Tuesday among 1,000 voters.

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Your comments about this article

13:38 June 16, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
I think the percentage is much higher than being reported. After all she did campaign on tax cuts. Instead she has made life for those who are in need of help, more difficult. Tax cuts would inventivize business growth and hiring. When people don't have much money to spend, they tend to hold on to it tightly. Even business people. Look at what happened in the US under Regan!
13:43 June 16, 2010 by dcgi
1/5, for a politician that's pretty good going.
13:56 June 16, 2010 by The-ex-pat
Hang on, we have not tried the standard German fix for all and every problem yet. Surly a tax raise must be tried before she steps down.....löl
17:04 June 16, 2010 by freechoice
how can government be poor when a country has the higest number of world richest living in the country? something must be wrong somewhere!!
02:34 June 17, 2010 by derExDeutsche
The sad part is, just like in Bolivia, Frustration with Govt. and its inherent corruption will only drive Germans to demand an even Bigger Government. That solves it!
15:15 June 17, 2010 by hanskarl
You must not leave out the FDP (Flopping Democrat Party). Huge changes needed here.
16:35 June 17, 2010 by Edmond Schindler
When there is trouble brewing, create a diversion...wonder what is on the horizon?
17:21 June 19, 2010 by Bruno53
Local internal German problem. Why should I care? I am 7,000 miles away from Germany.
15:03 October 28, 2012 by MrNosey
So The Local seems to be congratulating Angela Merkel on her high approval rating of 80%. There was me thinking The Local was being run by a gang of IKEA coffee-house waistrels.
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