Popularity of Merkel’s party up amid debt crisis
AFP BERLIN CHANCELLOR Angela Merkel’s party is at its most popular since her government was elected in 2009 despite the crisis, which a majority of Germans believe can be overcome, polls showed on Wednesday.
Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) are polling at 38 percent, a Forsa survey for Stern magazine showed, the highest level since August 2009, a month before the election which swept her to a second term in power.
Her coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), continue to languish at three percent.
However, due to the CDU’s strength, the current coalition was still ahead of their most likely opponents — a mix of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and ecologist Greens, which are polling at 27 and 13 percent respectively.
“She is clearly pulling the union up,” said Manfred Guellner from the Forsa institute, referring to Merkel’s party.
A separate poll, also by Forsa for Stern magazine, showed 53 percent of Germans believe the common currency “can be defended”, compared to only 41 percent that held this view in October 2011.
Since the beginning of the year, sentiment has begun to turn around in the markets, following almost half a trillion euros (dollars) injected into the banking system by the European Central Bank and tentative signs of recovery.
Among those leading Europe’s fight against the crisis, Germans think most of Jean-Claude Juncker — head of the eurozone finance ministers — who enjoys a 76-percent approval rating.
Italian Premier Mario Monti follows with 60 percent, just ahead of Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso with 56 percent.
Towards the other end of the scale is French President Nicolas Sarkozy, of whom only 46 percent of Germans approve and Greece’s interim leader Lucas Papademos, who has a rating of only 37 percent.
The party political poll was conducted between January 30 and February 3, with 2,500 people surveyed. The crisis poll was conducted on February 2, with 1,003 voters asked their view.