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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, August 18, 2017

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Impact of Trump’s victory is felt all the way in Germany, Social Democrats see resurgence

Schulz is gaining momentum in the run-up to the elections

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BERLIN, Germany - The reverberations of Donald Trump's unexpected election last year are being felt all the way in Germany, resulting in the unexpected surge of the Left.> BNN

Martin Schulz, chairman of the Social Democrats (SDP) is staging a surprisingly strong bid to topple Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

Building a strong campaign, which includes several attacks on Trump, Schulz is gaining momentum in the run-up to the elections on September 24 this year.

“We will never give up our values, our freedom and democracy, no matter what challenges we are facing,” Schulz said in a recent speech. 

He added, “That a U.S. president wants to put up walls, is thinking aloud about torture and attacks women, religious communities, minorities, people with handicaps, artists and intellectuals with brazen and dangerous comments is a breach of taboo that’s unbearable.”

The former head of the European Parliament propelled his party to move ahead of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats in opinion polls for the first time in six years. 

One poll, undertaken by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for broadcaster ZDF, showed the SPD gaining six percentage points to reach 30 percent support, while Merkel's conservative bloc lost two points to 34 percent.

In another poll published by YouGov, 64 percent of German voters were in favour of having a new chancellor.

Of this percentage, 42 percent said that it is “definitely” time someone else took over the top job, and a further 22 percent said it was “probably” time for a fresh face.

Commenting on the recent wave in favor of the SDP, Ralf Stegner, the party’s deputy chairman, said, “Schulz has provided a new impulse for people who were waiting to come back. . . but also, the new American president, because Trump’s presidency has politicized the German public, making them more active and aware.”

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel stood by her October 2013 complaint that spying among friends is not acceptable, during a parliamentary inquiry into the surveillance conducted by the foreign intelligence services of Germany and the United States.

"Spying among friends – that is simply not done,” Merkel had said at the time. 

“The Cold War is over," slamming U.S. intelligence agencies in connection with the leaks of classified information by former U.S. National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden.

Documents leaked to Wikileaks revealed that the U.S. agency had even tapped into Merkel’s personal cell phone.

Ironically, it later came to light that the German Federal Information Service (BND) also routinely spied on Germany’s partners, including allied governments and institutions.

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