Merkel wants to end Turkey EU membership talks

Merkel wants to end Turkey EU membership talks

Merkel wants to end Turkey EU membership talks

According to another survey carried out by the ZDF channel, Merkel won by 32 per cent against Schulz, who secured 29 per cent, while the other 39 per cent said they saw no differences between the two candidates.

Polls published after the televised debate put the chancellor ahead in the crucial clash.

Most of the respondents of the first survey released at the end of the debate, agreed that although Schulz performed better than expected, Merkel still won in terms of her credibility, sympathy, arguments and competence.

Schulz, 61, outfoxed Merkel on ties with Turkey and bounced her into beefing up her rhetoric by vowing to stop Ankara's bid to join the European Union if he was elected chancellor.

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'Apart from this, I'll speak to my colleagues to see if we can reach a joint position on this so that we can end these accession talks, ' Merkel added. "Whether we can win over all the countries for this I don't know".

Merkel's CDU party and Bavarian CSU allies hold a 17-percentage point lead over Schulz's SPD ahead of the September 24 national election.

Merkel has been chancellor since 2005 and is widely seen as Europe's most influential politician. Taking up a hot-button topic for voters, he criticized Merkel's early response to the refugee crisis in 2015 because she failed to enlist other European Union countries from the start in sharing the influx of migrants.

Schulz said that he agreed with the policy of granting asylum to those in need and argued that Germany had to meet its global commitments. Merkel called it a "very dramatic situation" that forced her to make a decision. "There are moments in the life of a leader or a chancellor where you just have to take decisions". Merkel, ruling out a rise in the retirement age to 70 as some in her party have suggested, said she would not join forces with the Linke or the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

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