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GERMANY

Merkel re-elected head of Germany’s CDU party

John Macdougall, AFP | German Chancellor Angela Merkel waves after being re-elected head of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
2 min

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was elected head of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) party for the eighth time on Tuesday, winning 96.7 percent of delegates' votes.

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Merkel thanked the party congress in Cologne for the "overwhelming vote of confidence" after her re-election. The 60-year-old Merkel, who has no serious rivals or evident successor, ran unopposed.

In her speech, Merkel highlighted the strength of the country’s economy, applauding next year’s budget – under which Germany plans to get by without new borrowing for the first time since 1969 – as a remarkable achievement.

“The state has lived above its means for decades and we are putting an end to that now. That is a historic achievement,” she said.

Widespread popularity

Merkel is currently one year into her third term at the helm of the country and enjoys the kind of popularity that most leaders can only dream of.

Earlier this week, a new poll showed that 56 percent of Germans want Merkel to run for a fourth term as chancellor, while 74 percent believe she would like to remain in office beyond 2017, when her third term comes to an end.

The survey, which was conducted by the polling group Emnid, was published in the Sunday edition of Germany’s Bild newspaper.

A separate poll for public broadcaster ARD last week showed that 67 percent of Germans approve of the job Merkel is doing.

Record low unemployment levels and Merkel’s defence of German interests during the eurozone debt crisis have contributed to her popularity.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP, REUTERS)

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