- Title: GERMANY: Final preparations are being made as Germany is set to go the polls
- Date: 26th September 2009
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 24, 2009) (REUTERS) STEINI-GIRL WALKING PAST CAMERA IN FRONT OF GERMAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING REICHSTAG VARIOUS OF STEINI-GIRL POSING (4 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 11th October 2009 13:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA5OBSZ1KQYR35WR8FYTFTVNOVU
- Story Text: With just two days to go until the German federal elections on Sunday (September 27), final preparations are being made for the vote.
In the southern town of Munich and in the capital Berlin ballot boxes have already been prepared and sent to polling stations, which will open at 0600GMT on Sunday.
"It is of course the time when everybody is getting a bit nervous, all the observers and the pundits are longing for the big thing to happen but the parties have just been slouching on to the last minute for the last few weeks so it's going to be like that for the next few days and on Sunday, there will hopefully be the thunderstorm that clears the sky," Jan Techau of the German Council on Foreign Relations (GDAP) in Berlin told Reuters TV on Friday (September 25), two days before the vote.
The latest surveys released before the vote show German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc (CDU/CSU) with a 9-11 point lead over the rival Social Democrats (SPD) and on track for a narrow parliamentary majority with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP).
But members of Merkel's party remain nervous after they saw a similar poll lead nearly vanish on election day four years ago and were forced into a "grand coalition" with the SPD.
"It's really too close to call but of course the chances for another grand coalition seem to increase as the SPD is getting slightly stronger and the chances for the black and yellow coalition as we call it are becoming slightly smaller but it's really out in the open," Techau said.
As head of a centre-right government, Merkel has vowed to pursue cuts in income, corporate and inheritance taxes, probably starting in 2011.
She could also extend the life of nuclear plants that are scheduled to be phased out over the next decade, and take a more critical view of Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
In a more light hearted part of the campaign, one fan of the German Foreign Minister and SPD Chancellor candidate, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has caused a stir across Germany due to a music video which she published on the Iternet platform YouTube.
So-called "Steini-Girl", who poses in a T-shirt with a photo of Steinmeier on it, released "Verknallt in Steinmeier" or "In love with Steinmeier" as her bid to drum up support for the 53-year old politician.
The video clip is a fictive declaration of love for Steinmeier which is supposed to have been inspired by the singer called "Obama Girl" who released a similar video in support of the U.S. President during the elections there in 2008.
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