German opposition attacks Angela Merkel over election pledges, questions financial solidity

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Germany's opposition is attacking proposals by Chancellor Angela Merkel that would result in increased spending, arguing that they counter her government's pledges of solid financial management.

Polls give Merkel's conservative bloc a strong lead ahead of Germany's Sept. 22 election, although a parliamentary majority for her current center-right coalition is far from certain.

This week Merkel set out proposals that appeared aimed at wooing centrist voters. They included increasing tax breaks for couples with children, which could cost billions. She also proposed capping increases in rents, an idea the opposition has pushed.

Juergen Trittin, a leader of the opposition Greens, on Friday accused Merkel of electioneering and jeopardizing her government's aim of a balanced budget.