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Should Merkel beware of Berlin's mayor?

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Should Merkel beware of Berlin's mayor?


It is mission accomplished for Berlin’s Mayor.

And having won a third term in office, Klaus Wowereit could be eyeing up an even bigger prize – the job of German Chancellor.

His credentials to represent the Social Democrats in 2013 were certainly boosted by this weekend’s election win. But for now he needs to form a coalition in the capital. He says the aim is to find out with whom “we can enact the most socially democratic policies possible, policies of social justice for the citizens of this city.”

Despite her conservatives suffering a sixth regional election defeat this year, Chancellor Angela Merkel is putting on a brave face. The message is: her government will survive. And, with a key parliamentary vote looming on the stricken euro zone, she says she is confident her majority could get the measure passed without outside help.

While the Greens are celebrating an increased score in Berlin, Merkel’s junior government partners the liberal Free Democrats were humiliated, getting less than two per cent of the vote. That is a sharp contrast to the nearly nine per cent won by the Pirate Party, running on a campaign for copyright reform and better privacy in the Internet age.

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