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Angela Merkel signs autographs at the Bayreuth Festival in 2012 (photo: Marc Müller/DPA/Corbis)

Greek newspapers like to portray German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nazi uniform. The Italian daily Libero has greeted her with a rude Vaffanmerkel! on its cover. The New Statesman has declared her “Europe’s most dangerous leader.” Many here in Britain think that Merkel’s austerity drive is destroying the euro. In my home country Germany, meanwhile, Merkel is the most popular politician bar none.  She is almost guaranteed to be re-elected for a third term in 2013. Why…

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