Martin Schulz, the Social Democratic leader challenging Angela Merkel for the chancellorship, is putting out all stops to revive his ailing campaign.
On Sunday he outlined a more refined set of policies, designed by economist Henrik Enderlein and state economy secretary Matthias Machnig which focus on areas where the CDU haven’t provided much substance. It calls for massive public sector investment starting in the next legislative period, particularly in high-speed fiber-optic Internet connections, the energy transition, research and development and education.
He called for greater protection for German workers against the effects of globalization, suggesting government, business and labor unions work together to help protect against unfair competition.
Germany “will only prevail in the competition with the United States and China if all the important basic technologies are researched, developed and applied in Germany and Europe,” Mr. Schulz said. “We are being challenged by countries in which the state owns or at least massively supports companies.”
He also took a shot at Germany’s “hodgepodge of education policies” and suggested a “national education alliance” where universities, schools, the federal, state and local governments, and businesses could cooperate.
Clemens Fuest, president of the prestigious Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research has criticized Mr. Schulz’s policies as a “shotgun approach to increasing public investment.”
“We shouldn’t expect too much investment,” Mr. Fuest told Handelsblatt. “In many cases, we have already reached the point where the money can no longer be spent, because there is a lack of reasonable projects.”