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Sunday, September 27, 1998 Published at 01:55 GMT 02:55 UK

What do they stand for?

German Elections
The personalities of Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his main contender Gerhard Schröder are well known.

But what are Mr Kohl's Christian Democratic Union and Mr Schröder's Social Democrat Party promising to do if they get elected?


[ image: More than 10% of the workforce are unemployed]
More than 10% of the workforce are unemployed
CDU: Decrease number of jobless - currently about 4.2 million - by 500,000 within a year. Lower starting pay of skilled labour and provide government subsidies to those who take low paying jobs.

SDP: An "alliance for jobs" between government, employers and trade unions. Shorten working hours. Subsidise companies offering job training.


[ image: German's citizen rules are amongst the toughest in Europe]
German's citizen rules are amongst the toughest in Europe
CDU: Ease laws giving citizenship to foreign residents, but with strict rule that foreigners becoming German must give up old citizenship. Hasten deportation of foreigners evicted of crimes.

SDP: Allow dual citizenship for foreign residents who become German.

Taxes and Economy

[ image: Different approaches to taxation]
Different approaches to taxation
CDU: Cut income taxes by DM30 bn. Possible increase in VAT to compensate. Reform Byzantine tax system. Cut Germany's contributions to the EU.

SDP: Lower taxes for low earners. Reverse cuts in social security. More priority to rebuilding east. Double government funding for technology research.


[ image: The anti-nuclear movement is strong]
The anti-nuclear movement is strong
CDU: Maintain nuclear plants. Increase safety of nuclear waste transports. Double solar, wind and hydro power by 2010. Create energy tax with support of other EU nations.

SDP: Close nuclear plants "as quickly as possible." Cease transport of nuclear waste, storing it instead at nuclear plants.


[ image: Most Germans defend conscription]
Most Germans defend conscription
CDU: Maintain mandatory conscription and military strengh at 340,000 soldiers. Support reform and strengthening of Nato.

SDP: Reduce draft according to demand. Reduce size of forces. Send German soldiers as UN peacekeepers. Support Nato.

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In this section

At a glance: German election coverage

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Kohl concedes defeat

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