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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity within Germany reached a two-year high this month amid her government’s efforts on a new Greek bailout, a ZDF Television poll showed.
Merkel, 57, widened her lead over her next rival, Frank- Walter Steinmeier of the opposition Social Democrats, and has an approval rating of 1.9 compared with 1.8 in the previous month, ZDF said. The 10-point scale measures approval rates for 10 Cabinet members, with +5 marking the highest and -5 the least. Steinmeier is at 1.5.
Merkel has defended Greece’s place in the euro, saying on Feb. 27 that the advantages of endorsing a second bailout outweigh the risks to the currency area and the global economy. As the number of critics in her own party’s ranks grow, she will need opposition party support to get approval for setting up a permanent European rescue fund and for tightening the euro- area’s budget regime.
ZDF said Merkel’s standing among voters was at a two-year high, while its monthly poll showed her party of Christian Democrats dropping one point to 36 percent in March compared with 30 percent for the Social Democrats, a one-point increase. Her Free Democrat allies stayed at 3 percent, not enough to qualify for parliament in a federal election.
ZDF polled 1,246 voters between March 6-8. The survey has a margin of error of as much as three percentage points.
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