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Angela Merkel's 2009 opponent

Steinmeier The Wall Street Journal Europe has an interesting editorial on the new SDP candidate for Chancellor.  As pro-Moscow as his former boss, Gerhard Schroeder, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, currently Germany's Foreign Minister, will lead the SDP to the centre on economic policy.  Mrs Merkel is currently 10% to 15% ahead of the SDP in most opinion surveys but that only tells part of the story.  The CDU are still struggling to reach above the 40% threshold in a divided German political market.  Oskar Lafontaine's Linke party has divided the left-of-centre vote in Germany, pulling the SPD down to the low twenties.


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