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Schroeder, Merkel Running Neck-and-Neck in Latest German Polls


German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his Christian Democratic Union challenger, Angela Merkel, are so close together in the latest pre-election polls that they have both vowed to break with tradition and campaign straight through the end of voting on Sunday evening.

Two polls released on Friday indicate a conservative coalition led by Ms. Merkel has a slim majority over a center-left coalition led by Mr. Schroeder. However, 25 percent of those polled say they are still undecided, which makes the race too close to call.

The conservatives started out the campaign with a large lead, one that has decreased as Mr. Schroeder's attacks on Ms. Merkel's economic plan have hit home. Ms. Merkel has assailed the high unemployment rate in Germany under Mr. Schroeder's leadership, while Mr. Schroeder says Ms. Merkel's tax proposals will unravel the country's social fabric.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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