The German Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, wants to halt negotiations between the European Union and Turkey on Turkish EU membership.
‘I can’t see them ever joining. And I never thought that would happen’, said Merkel during a debate with the German Social Democrat’s leader, Martin Schulz, on Sunday evening.
Merkel added that she’d like to talk to the other EU countries to see ‘if we can stop these membership negotiations.’ Schulz also said he wants to end the negotiations.
Relations between the two NATO countries, Germany and Turkey, are currently very poor. A total of twelve German citizens are currently imprisoned in Turkey for political reasons, according to AFP news agency.
Poll indicates that Merkel won the debate
Sunday’s debate was the only televised duel between Merkel and Schulz before the German elections on September the 24th.
Merkel and the Christian Democrats are the solid poll leaders, and the debate was being referred to as Schulz’s final opportunity to reverse the situation.
Polls taken just after broadcast didn’t indicate that the SPD leader succeeded. Two polls both concluded that viewers thought Merkel won the debate.
The first part of the battle of words concerned immigration and integration. Merkel defended her somewhat indefensible decision not to close the borders when hundreds of thousands of migrants, and refugees, attempted to enter Germany in 2015.
Several political commentators believe the German election campaign so far has been boring. The magazine Der Spiegel recently made the call for the two candidates for Prime Minister to ‘Wake Up!’
The Social Democrats, and Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU), traditionally political opponents, have for several years been working together in a coalition.
In the debate with Merkel, Schulz didn’t rule out the possibility of continuing governmental cooperation with the CDU.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today