Merkel still ‘most popular politician’ in Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel is still Germany's top politician and her party is doing very well too, according to a new survey.

Merkel still 'most popular politician' in Germany
Angela Merkel on June 24th. Photo: DPA

Merkel's handling of the coronavirus crisis has been praised across the world.  And it appears it's also being recognised by voters in Germany.

Merkel's party, the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), and its Bavarian sister party the CSU, increased in popularity among voters to 40 percent, according to a new poll – the highest amount in almost three years.

The CDU and CSU last achieved a similarly strong figure in August 2017, before the federal election campaign began. During this time, the Union managed to gain 32.9 percent.

In the latest ZDF 'Politbarometer' published on Friday, the Union's new result was an improvement by one percent compared to previous weeks.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) remain at 15 percent, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) at nine percent, and the Left Party (die Linke) at seven percent. The Greens lost one point, gaining 19 percent.

And the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) gained one point to log five percent.

Meanwhile, Merkel remains by far the most popular politician in Germany. On a scale of plus five to minus five, she improved slightly to 2.6 points, followed by CSU leader Markus Söder with 1.9, and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) with 1.8.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) gained ground and passed North Rhine-Westphalia's state premier, Armin Laschet. The candidate for the CDU chief position lost points slightly, landing at 0.5.

Overwhelming majority for stricter laws for slaughterhouses

Meanwhile, according to the survey, the vast majority of citizens in Germany are in favour of stricter regulation of slaughterhouses, even if this results in higher prices of meat.

READ ALSO: Germany fights to control coronavirus outbreak at meat plant

A huge 92 percent of those surveyed would support stricter industry laws, according to the ZDF poll. However, only 55 percent of those questioned believed that citizens were generally prepared to spend more money on meat.

Following several outbreaks of coronavirus in meat processing plants, cheap prices for meat products in supermarkets and working conditions in industry are under massive criticism.

READ ALSO: Explained – What you need to know about Germany's new local coronavirus lockdown

Doubts over new app

The new coronavirus app has been downloaded millions of times – but according to the survey, confidence in its effectiveness is relatively low.

Only 38 percent believe that this app will make a major contribution to limiting the pandemic in Germany, the ZDF survey shows.

 Supporters of the Greens (62 percent), the FDP (70 percent) and the AfD (90 percent) are particularly critical of the app.

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Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday made a push for equal pay for men and women international footballers after Germany's successful run at the recent European Championships.

Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

“My position on this is clear,” Scholz said after a meeting with the German Football Association (DFB) to discuss the issue.

“We talked about how we can continue to help more girls and women get excited about football. Of course, the wages at such tournaments play a major role in this,” he said.

“That’s why it makes sense to discuss equal pay. I made the suggestion and I’m very grateful that there is a willingness to discuss this issue.”

Germany scored their biggest major tournament success since 2015 at this year’s European Championships, losing to England in the final at Wembley.

Scholz attended the final and also supported the women’s team by tweeting: “It’s 2022, and women and men should be paid equally. This also applies to sport, especially for national teams.”

READ ALSO: Scholz to cheer on Germany at Euro 2022 final

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP headquarters on Tuesday.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP (German Football Association) headquarters on Tuesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Gollnow

Germany’s women would have received €60,000 each if they had triumphed at the tournament, while the men would have received €400,000 each had they prevailed at the Euros last year.

Bernd Neuendorf, president of the DFB, said he understood the argument “that equal work and success should also have the same value”.

“I’m willing to discuss in our committees whether our payment system is up to date or whether it should be adjusted,” he said.

Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg suggested that international footballers’ wages could be evened out by paying women more and men less.

Officials must now “follow up with action” after the meeting, she said in an interview with the ZDF broadcaster.

Scholz said he was “very, very proud” of the women’s performance at the Euros, even if “it didn’t quite work out”.

“I hope it will have a long-lasting effect, not only on the players themselves… but also on football in Germany,” he said.