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United front for Germany's battling conservatives

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United front for Germany's battling conservatives


Two months before Germany’s general election, the conservative allies of Angela Merkel have yet to settle their differences with the Chancellor.

Yet all cracks in the camp were put to one side as she travelled to Bavaria for a congress held by the CSU. A sister party of her own CDU, it has refused to budge in a battle over Europe and tax cuts. Merkel wants the EU’s Lisbon Treaty ratified by Germany before September’s poll. But the traditionally more euro-sceptic CSU wants changes to German law first that could cause delays. On tax, though, the two sides may be coming together. The Chancellor announced compromise moves that earned her a rousing round of applause. Maybe she was feeling generous on what was her 55th birthday. Or maybe Merkel simply knows that a prolonged row could undermine her authority among conservatives, just when she appears to be cruising towards easy re-election.

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