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Merkel wins party backing for re-election campaign


Chancellor Angela Merkel launched her bid for re-election today, telling the party faithful that her government had steered Germany through the worst of the European financial crisis and was best equipped to guide it through what may still be tough times.

Speaking at her Christian Democratic Union’s party congress in Hanover, she said unemployment was down, the economy was still growing while others in Europe were stagnating or shrinking, and that the deficit had been reduced.

“We have guided Germany out of the crisis stronger than Germany entered the crisis,” she said. “This government is the most successful government since reunification.”

Party members gave Ms Merkel’s record a resounding endorsement after her speech, re-electing her as the CDU leader with a majority of 98 per cent of the vote. Ms Merkel has led the party since 2000 and has governed Germany as the first female Chancellor since 2005. Polls show Ms Merkel is more popular than Peer Steinbrueck, the main opposition Social Democratic Party’s candidate for Chancellor.