SPD Chancellor candidate Martin Schulz spoke to a crowd of around 1,400 people in Gelsenkirchen, on Wednesday, where he positioned himself as the candidate for poorer Germans and for women. He criticised the economic positions of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her CDU party, presenting them as only considering German citizens who are already well off, «Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer... Еще lead a conservative block in this country, and we must state clearly that there are differences between them and us, because that phrase 'Germany is doing well' doesn’t mean that every person is doing well. The phrase 'Germany is a properous country' doesn’t mean that every person is prosperous,» he said. Schulz went on to criticise the lower wages of men and women. He advocated that women who return to work following periods of unemployment or part-time employment, in order to care for relatives or raise children, should be able to return with the salary they had before. Taking aim at the current Chancellor, Schulz said he found it «surprising that this [policy] is being blocked by a woman. From Ms. Angela Merkel.» While discussing education policy, Schulz lauded the education he received going through vocational college, as opposed to the university route traditionally taken by German politicians. He said «It was a high level qualification,» but that he still was forced to hear journalists query if someone without a high school leaving certificate could become German chancellor. To this question, he answered, «'Yes, one can.' And on 24th September, we'll do this.» Schulz's SPD is currently tailing Merkel's CDU party in the polls, by between 13 and 17 percent, while the is less than a week away.