Merkel taunts her opponents over euro debt crisis approach ahead of election

BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel is taunting her opponents in Germany’s Sept. 22 election over their criticism of her approach to Europe’s debt crisis — pointing out that they have voted for practically all her rescue policies.

Merkel’s centre-left challenger, Peer Steinbrueck, argues that she has focused too heavily on austerity in struggling countries and done too little to encourage growth.

But in a boisterous final session of Parliament before the vote, Merkel said Tuesday that Europe must stick to her approach. She told the opposition: “It doesn’t make sense, when you’ve voted for everything, to shout so much.”

Merkel added that Germany can’t be sure the opposition would maintain her approach because it has talked about pooling European debt — “and we say that can’t work out well.”