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German Chancellor Merkel Prepares for Elections

The document put forward by Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU party on Monday outlines a series of generous family-friendly policies for Germans, described by some as a lurch to the left to attract as many voters as possible.

It includes measures which are in sharp contrast to the fiscal reforms Merkel has insisted other euro zone countries undertake. Among them are a rise in child benefits, provisions for flexible working hours, plans for more affordable housing, rent control as well as fresh spending on infrastructure and pensions. German newspaper Handelsblatt said the measures would cost as much as 28.5 billion euros.

“The CDU/CSU is by far and away in the lead and when you’re in the lead you can act like a sailor who’s winning the race. You just look at the boat behind you; when they go right you go right, when they go left, you go left. You’ll stay ahead of them,” Irwin Collier, professor of economics at the Freie Universitaet Berlin told CNBC.

The latest opinion polls show that Merkel’s CDU/CSU would get 40 percent of the vote while the Free Democrats – the party’s preferred coalition partners – would get 6 percent. If Germans were to elect their Chancellor directly, Merkel would win 58 percent of the vote, leaving her main contender, the social democrat candidate Peer Steinbrueck far behind with only 15 percent. Support for Steinbrueck’s SPD party stood at 22 percent while the Greens had 18 percent of the vote.

via CNBC [1]

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza [6]

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse [7]
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza