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Berliner brief

Angela Merkel may well win another term as chancellor, but she'll probably get stuck with the Social Democrats again. Plus, Helmut Schmidt makes a comeback

By Hugh Williamson   September 2008

Merkel’s unhappy marriage

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Angela Merkel became Germany’s first woman chancellor. Yet she already has her eye on the next prize—winning re-election in 12 months’ time. You can tell this from a giveaway phrase that is occurring with increasing frequency in her speeches.

When Merkel says “speaking as chair of the Christian Democratic Union” at a press conference, it is the sign that she wants to change gears, out of the measured tone of a chancellor and into the more biting language of the leader of the largest party in her uneasy grand coalition…

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