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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Merkel's CDU Set for Regional clobbering as Critics Slam Turkey-EU Deal.

Merkel's CDU Set for Regional clobbering as Critics Slam Turkey-EU Deal. (SP).

Despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel describing the recently announced EU-Turkey refugee deal as a "breakthrough" towards solving the current crisis, many critics at home remain unconvinced, with Merkel's party tipped for heavy losses in regional elections this weekend.

As critics within the EU parliament scolded the provisional EU deal with Turkey, skeptics in Germany also took aim at the agreement, with the leftist Die Linke party likening the deal to Turkish "blackmail."
On the other side of the political spectrum, the right-wing tabloid newspaper, Bild, was equally critical of the deal, with an online editorial accusing EU leaders of planning to "spend billions to support and even accelerate Turkey's path towards becoming an authoritarian religious state based on violence, just to ensure that the regime there takes the refugees off our hands".

More than 12 million Germans are set to elect regional parliaments in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt, with polls suggesting Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is to be heavily punished for its open-door refugee policy.

In the CDU's traditional stronghold of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, a recent poll suggested the party's support had dropped by more than 10 percentage points, placing it second behind the Green Party. While elsewhere, increased support for the anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party was expected to further erode CDU votes.

The elections are seen as a litmus test of public opinion on Merkel's refugee policies, amid rising anger over the chancellor's refusal to place an upper cap on the number of refugees Germany was willing to accept. Read the full story here.

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