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Gloves come off in German election battle

30 August 2017

More than a million migrants have arrived in Germany over the past two years since Mrs. Merkel suspended European Union border rules and said her nation would take "no upper limit" of new arrivals.

Merkel is set to run for a fourth consecutive term heading the German executive in the upcoming federal elections scheduled for September 24. Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz also vowed to invest more money in education as chancellor.

She says "we would like better relations, but that has something to do with the fulfillment of the principles of the rule of law".

He also compared her to former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, who like Merkel, spent more than a decade in office.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin on Tuesday, Merkel said a major part of EU's promised €3 billion ($3.5 billion) funding was already allocated for projects to support Syrian refugees in Turkey, but the funding had not yet been used in full.

"When we are able to implement the Minsk agreements agenda we would have a good chance that would lead to the lifting of the sanctions", she said. "Of course, all this makes me sad, but it is a necessary step", Merkel said.

"That some countries refuse to accept any refugees is not on".

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"Given what the situation is at the moment, I believe we need these border controls", she told reporters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling on Turkey to release German citizens swept up in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt, calling their imprisonment "unjustified". According to the German leader, this process is "very slow".

"This is a very complicated phase of our relationship" with Turkey, Merkel said.

29 at a Berlin press conference that she wanted to have better relations with Turkey, but the relationship between Berlin and Ankara was now at "a very complicated phase".

Turkey has arrested about 10 Germans in recent months on charges the German government considers dubious.

Aydan Özoguz has come under fire from the AfD for saying the party's demands for recognition of a "leading German culture" ignore how German historical development, as a collection of kingdoms belatedly unified in 1871, offered little by way of a cultural common denominator beyond the German language.

The last one, by Infratest for ARD, said his centre-left SPD party had dropped two points to 22 percent, while Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU party had 38 percent.

Gloves come off in German election battle