• Germany's news in English

Steinbrück promises 'fun election with jokes'

The Local · 1 Oct 2012, 16:38

Published: 01 Oct 2012 16:38 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Steinbrück, 65, vowed an "exciting" and "fun" campaign in the run-up to the election that must take place in September or October 2013 as he attacked Merkel's record and promised greater regulation of the banking sector.

"I think that the ... vast majority of the cabinet – I admit there are maybe two exceptions – is one of the worst, maybe the worst cabinet in the history of the federal republic," he told supporters and reporters.

"This should not be a boring election campaign. This should not be a humourless campaign. There must be fun and a few jokes," said the feisty father-of-three from Hamburg.

The leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) earlier Monday unanimously elected Steinbrück as their candidate to challenge Merkel ahead of his formal nomination at a party convention in December.

He said the election would be about "what type of society we want to live in" and called for tougher regulation on banks, including the establishment of a fund to protect taxpayers from having to bail lenders out.

Polls show Steinbrück has an uphill struggle to unseat Merkel, nominated by Forbes Magazine as the world's most powerful woman, at the helm of Europe's top economy and political powerhouse.

Surveys have consistently placed her conservative CDU/CSU bloc around 10 points ahead of the Social Democrats as voters in Germany approve of Merkel's handling of the long-running eurozone debt crisis.

Steinbrück vowed to mobilise traditional SPD voters as well as those disillusioned by Merkel and her conservatives.

He accused her of dealing with the "symptoms, not the causes" of the eurozone crisis.

After serving as finance minister in Merkel's first cabinet from 2005 to 2009, he has ruled out accepting a job in a potential "grand coalition", making his bid for the chancellery an "all or nothing" affair.

However, although generally a respected finance minister, Germans appear to be sceptical of handing Steinbrück the keys to the chancellery.

An Emnid poll for the Bild am Sonntag weekly showed 63 percent of voters do not believe he will be Germany's leader.

Story continues below…

However, despite Merkel's strong lead in the polls, a collapse in support for her coalition partners, the pro-business FDP party, means she may need to find another coalition party.

The most likely outcome if polls continue at their present level is another "grand coalition" of CDU/CSU and SPD.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd