CDU a "danger" to foreign policy - Schroeder

12th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 September 2005, BONN, GERMANY - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Saturday described his centre-right opponents, who are tipped by polls to win next week's general election, as a "danger" to German foreign policy.

12 September 2005

BONN, GERMANY - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Saturday described his centre-right opponents, who are tipped by polls to win next week's general election, as a "danger" to German foreign policy.

Addressing 12,000 people at a Social Democrat rally in the former German capital Bonn, the chancellor charged that the CDU/CSU alliance was unreliable in its attitude to international conflicts.

"They are a danger," he said. When the CDU/CSU candidate for the chancellorship, Angela Merkel, said she would not send any German military personnel to Iraq, she was "learning by experience", he said in a reference to Merkel's more pro-Washington views.

"I don't deny that the CDU/CSU wants peace. But they still have to prove whether they possess the ability to stand sufficiently firm in every situation," he said. "I wouldn't recommend anyone risk that."

So far foreign policy has played only a minor role in campaigning for the September 18 general election. In the only televised debate that Schroeder and Merkel have held, there was little time for foreign issues other than Turkey's desire to join the European Union.

Merkel and Schroeder strongly disagree, with Merkel arguing that Turkey must be kept out of the E.U. and be offered a "privileged partnership" instead. Schroeder countered that keeping Ankara out would be a major geo-strategic mistake.

DPA

Subject: German news

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