Peer Steinbruck, the main challenger to Angela Merkel's position in Germany's federal elections is the leader of the centre-left Socialist Democratic Party (SPD).
The SPD candidate says it is time for Germany to show solidarity and help its EU partners, adding that Ms Merkel "lacked passion" for Europe.
Here are some facts about the candidate:
- 1947: Born in Hamburg
- 1974: Graduates with economics degree from University of Kiel
- 1980s: Chief of staff for the North Rhein-Westphalia
- 1998: Economic minister for the North Rhein-Westphalia
- 2002 - 2005: Minister president or Governor of North Rhein-Westphalia
- 2005 - 2009: Served as Germany's finance minister under coalition with Angela Merkel's party
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