BERLIN (Reuters) – The three candidates competing to succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU) agreed on Thursday to revive their party’s fortunes by cutting taxes and reducing Germany’s dependence on the United States for defense.
In a strikingly good-humored three-hour debate in the northern city of Luebeck, the first of eight meetings with party grass roots across Germany before a leadership vote on Dec. 7, the rivals barely clashed on broad policy.
Nuances - Details - Integration - Migrants - Housing
While there were different nuances on details, the three agreed to work to improve the integration of migrants, focus more on affordable housing, cut subsidies to poorer eastern states and further Merkel’s digitalization drive.
The race for leader of the Christian Democratic Union party has shaped up as a dual between Merkel protege Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely seen as the continuity option, and Friedrich Merz, a millionaire who describes himself as “a free-trade man”.
Merkel - Coalition - CDU - Bavarian - Sister
Merkel has said she will remain chancellor atop a ‘grand coalition’ with the CDU’s Bavarian sister party and Social Democrats until the end of her term in 2021.
CDU General Secretary Kramp-Karrenbauer, the front-runner, won applause for saying she would continue the process of renewal, by taking into account the views of the party base.
Former - Merkel - Rival - Merz
Former Merkel rival Merz said he...
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