Presidential Merkel points at record in campaign debate
BERLIN (AFP) - Three weeks before German elections, Chancellor Angela Merkel calmly pointed at her record Sunday in steering Europe's top economy safely through the eurozone crisis, in the only TV debate with her centre-left rival.
Social Democrat Peer Steinbrueck meanwhile outlined his vision of a more socially just Germany and for more solidarity within Europe, without however landing rhetorical blows that looked likely to close a yawning poll gap.
Dr Merkel, often voted Germany's most popular politician, pointed to economic growth and low unemployment, and sought to reassure millions of voters that if she wins a third term, Germany will stay in safe hands.
"Germany is an engine of growth, an anchor for stability," said Dr Merkel, wearing a necklace with the national colours black, red and gold which was hotly debated in a Twitter conversation.