She is still hotly-tipped to become Germany’s next chancellor, even though a week of mishaps have done nothing for her campaign. But today Angela Merkel is aiming for a fresh start, as she officially kicks off her bid to oust Gerhard Schroeder from office. The conservative opposition leader has pledged a fighting mood in the coming weeks. Critics have accused her of appearing lacklustre and boring and there was scorn when Merkel mixed up the economic terms “gross” and “net” in television interviews.After that gaffe, there was a narrowing of the right’s lead in the polls. Now her allies are keen to focus on what they see as the failings of the Schroeder administration.