Merkel rejects Schulz demand for second TV duel

Berlin: Incumbent German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday rejected a proposal by Martin Schulz to hold another TV debate between herself and Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader before national elections next week.

“Everything on this subject has already been said,” Xinhua cited a statement from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party headquarters as saying.

Merkel had been “happy to be participative” in the first duel, a well-proven format, and did not intend to appear in another confrontation.

When addressing audience questions on ZDF national television on Tuesday night, Schulz complained that there were many subjects, including digitalisation, labour, retirement and education, which he had still not been able to discuss directly with Merkel.

“I have therefore written a letter to Ms. Merkel and challenged her to accept another duel with me,” he was quoted as saying.

Schulz wrote in the document that “citizens deserved to hear a comprehensive debate concerning the central questions surrounding the country’s future.”

The former president of the European Parliament further said that he was ready to participate in another debate “anytime.”

Having received Merkel’s rejection of the proposal via the CDU party offices, Schulz replied that he was “astonished” that the chancellor had not made the effort to respond to him directly.