The largest country in Europe, Germany, is going to the polls this weekend.
The election campaign has been dominated by concerns about the economy.
Signs of recovery have been seen but the country has been badly affected by the global recession.
Many workers have had to accept reduced hours and reduced pay as an alternative to being laid off.
Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips reports from Hamburg, a port city hit hard by the global economic downturn as the world ran out of money to buy German goods.