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Germany

Schröder Sets the Bar at 38 Percent

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, encouraged by his superior performance in a televised debate with his conservative challenger Angela Merkel, is raising the bar for his party's election campaign in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Germany. A new poll taken by the Forsa institute showed Schröder's Social Democrats (SPD) landing at 34 percent, an increase by 3 percent since last week."My task at the moment is to add 4 percent on top of that," Schröder said in an interview for the German n-tv station on Wednesday. "The other side must lose these 4 percent so that we can keep working in the constellation in which I began the inner renewal and the political positioning of Germany as an international peace power. I want to continue that." While support for the SPD seems to be on the rise, Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) have lost a point since last week and are currently at 42 percent. For the first time in weeks, Merkel's coalition with the free-market liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), now at a combined 48 percent, has fewer votes than all the leftist parties put together.

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