Merkel in lowest amid scandals
BERLIN - Reuters
Merkel’s conservatives plunged to their lowest rating in seven months. REUTERS photoGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives plunged to their lowest rating in seven months in a leading opinion poll yesterday as a tax evasion scandal embroiled an ally and their Bavarian sister party faced questions about nepotism.
Support for Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and Bavarian partner the Christian Social Union (CSU) fell three percentage points from a week earlier to 37 percent, their lowest ranking since October, the Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag newspaper showed.
Last month, one of Germany’s most admired sports managers, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, said he had voluntarily reported himself to authorities in a tax evasion investigation that exposed Merkel’s government to criticism it is lenient on tax cheats.Hoeness is seen as a supporter of the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union and has had close ties to Merkel.
The CDU/CSU’s junior coalition partner in the federal parliament, the Free Democrats, rose one point in the poll to 5 percent, which would allow them to enter Parliament.
Their combined 42 percent put them on par with the joint force of the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), which was unchanged at 27 percent, and the Greens, who gained a point after announcing a divisive “soak-the-rich” campaign for new taxes last week.