This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Merkel Highlights Economy in German Election Year

By Geir Moulson

BERLIN -- Chancellor Angela Merkel highlighted Germany's economic strength as she kicked off campaigning Saturday for an important state vote that comes months before national elections, and she brushed aside worries about the weakness of her party's coalition partner.

Merkel's center-right party faces a tough battle to extend its 10-year hold on Lower Saxony state, a northwestern region of 8 million people, in the Jan. 20 election there. Polls suggest the center-left opposition has a good chance of winning, which would give it a significant boost ahead of September national elections in which Merkel will seek a third term.

Merkel made clear that her Christian Democrats will make "economic competence, together with jobs -- and jobs that are well-qualified and fairly paid," along with economic strength, a keystone of this year's campaigns. She identified opposition plans for tax increases as one battleground.

"We believe that we do, of course, need income for the state, so we are not talking about tax cuts at this point," Merkel said at a televised news conference after her party's leadership met in Wilhelmshaven, a port city in Lower Saxony.

"But we believe that tax increases ... are not good for current economic developments, for medium-sized companies in particular but also for big companies," she added.

The number of Germans out of work averaged just under 2.9 million last year, the lowest since 1991. Germany's jobless rate of less than 7% contrasts with figures well over 20% in troubled eurozone partners Greece and Spain.

The strong German economy, and Merkel's hard-nosed management of Europe's debt crisis, have helped keep her popularity high and her party ahead in polls.

But the weakness of the pro-market Free Democratic Party, her junior coalition partner, means that her center-right alliance lacks a majority in surveys. The party, which campaigned at Germany's last election for tax cuts that it failed to obtain, has taken much of the blame for frequent coalition squabbling.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,501.65 0.00 0.00%
S&P 500 1,878.61 +3.22 0.17%
NASDAQ 4,148.3380 +21.3710 0.52%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs