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Unmoveable Merkel enters home straight

Monday, September 16, 2013 - 02:19

Sept. 16 - Less than a week to go until the German elections and Chancellor Angela Merkel has had a boost after her Bavarian sister party swept to victory in regional elections. She's been in power for almost 8 years but despite the euro zone challenges of recent years her style of leadership as hardly changed. Joanna Partridge reports.

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A week before the German national elections - a boost for Angela Merkel. Her Christian Social Union allies swept to victory in Bavaria - and their leader, Horst Seehofer, provided a show of support for the chancellor. SOUNDBITE: Horst Seehofer, Bavarian state premier and CSU leader, saying (German): "From tomorrow on, even from tonight, we have to do all we can from Bavaria to keep Angela Merkel as chancellor of Germany." But the Bavarian ballot also delivered a worrying message for Merkel. Her national coalition partners, the FDP, saw a slump in support. While polls suggest Merkel's highly likely to secure a third term as chancellor, it's not clear who her CDU party will rule with. Jeremy Stretch from CIBC. SOUNDBITE: Jeremy Stretch, Head of FX Strategy, CIBC, saying (English): "The maintenance of the status quo would probably be the best-case scenario for the markets because of course there will be no further messy coalition deals needing to be agreed." Since she was first sworn is as chancellor in late 2005, Merkel has become known for her cautious leadership style. Through domestic political scandals, and turmoil in the euro zone, that hasn't changed says Josef Janning from the German Council on Foreign Relations. SOUNDBITE: Josef Janning, Researcher at the German Council on Foreign Relations, saying (English): "She has not been a classic leader, giving directions and asking people to follow. She has been the person to collect all the evidence, to discuss with all the participants involved, and then make a decision. That's her style. And that in a way has led to a political situation which is rather calm." The Protestant pastor's daughter from Communist East Germany is known for her measured movements, meaning few expect changes in Germany's direction following the vote. That's also led to criticism of Merkel and Germany - for not taking on a strong leadership role. Friedbert Rueb is political professor at Berlin's Humboldt University. SOUNDBITE: Friedbert Rueb, Humboldt University Political Professor, saying (English): "Merkel is always manoeuvring, she is flexible, she is 'I'm listening to what the voters are saying', but she has no strong idea in which idea Germany should go." There's little that could put the brakes on Merkel's campaign now - and she's due to ride back into the Chancellery on Sunday. But those hoping for a change in Germany's policies may find themselves disappointed.

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Unmoveable Merkel enters home straight

Monday, September 16, 2013 - 02:19