German Social Democrats unveil program for September vote

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Social Democrats, traditionally the country’s main center-left party, have unveiled an election program that seeks higher taxes for the richest and a higher minimum wage while also emphasizing climate protection. The party hopes the program will help propel it out of a long poll slump. Three of Germany’s eight post-World War II chancellors so far were Social Democrats. The most recent was center-right Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immediate predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder. But the party, which has been Merkel’s junior governing party for 11 of the past 15 years, is stuck at around 16-17% support in polls. That’s far behind Merkel’s Union bloc and a bit behind the environmentalist Greens.