• Germany's news in English

Politicians abandon election fight for holidays

The Local · 9 Aug 2013, 16:08

Published: 09 Aug 2013 16:08 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

With six weeks to go before polling day, lots of top politicians have gone on holiday, leaving the election trail cold, The Local found after ringing around offices from political parties.

Enjoying a week off so close to polling day would be unthinkable for politicians in the US or UK, but for the Germans it is a normal part of the summer routine – election or no election.

Yet it seems accepted here and Malte Lehming, a journalist at Berlin daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel and contributor to The Local, said politicians were right to go away and recuperate even in the midst of an election battle.

He said: “They have a demanding job, especially the chancellor. Hopefully, the more recuperated they are, the better they will work. Workaholics in an election campaign? No thanks.”

To politicians in other countries, the idea of sitting on a beach during an election stands in stark contrast to the run-ups to their polling days.

Norman Lamb an MP for the British Liberal Democrats and a health minister in the government told The Local that six weeks prior to election day was a hectic time in the campaigns he had fought. “It is a frantic period,” he said. “Normally we would be doing our day jobs as a constituency MP and ministerial duties. We would be at the heart of the campaign. The build-up starts months before.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel is currently on holiday in Italy, but one politician who has stayed at home, unable to waste a day of campaigning, is the main opposition leader Peer Steinbrück.

His party, the Social Democrats (SPD), sits at 23 percent in the latest polls - 17 points behind Merkel’s CDU/CSU - prompting a non-stop tour of the country which started in Hamburg on Thursday night.

He launched the tour by attacking Merkel. "I’m appealing to everyone who still has plans for this country,” he told a crowd of 2,500 supporters.

Story continues below…

Tom Bristow

What do you think? Should politicians take holidays during an election campaign? Leave your comments below.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
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.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

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