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Germany

Government Loses Support in Opinion Poll

Germany's opposition would win a majority of seats in parliament if elections were held this week as it extended its lead over the Social Democratic-Green ruling coalition, a survey by the Forsa polling firm found. The opinion poll, which asked 2,503 voters their preferences, found that 31 percent supported Schröder's Social Democrats, down one point since last week. Coalition partners the Greens remained steady at 8 percent. The conservative union bloc of parties, the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union, gained a point from last week, reaching 43 percent. Their likely coalition partners, the Free Democrats, were unchanged at 7 percent. With unemployment in Germany reaching a post-war high in February of 5.2 million, the survey showed that 28 percent of Germans fear being pushed into poverty. Over the past month, support for the ruling coalition has fallen five points while support for the union bloc has risen three points.

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