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Thursday, 9-Jan-2014 01:26 Email | Share | Bookmark
International Press Highlights Merkel Triumph

Le Monde agrees there "is no getting round Germany and its chancellor." These past weeks, the paper writes, "every important decision at a European level seemed to depend on the outcome of the election." As she starts her third term, like Margaret Thatcher before her, Britain's Daily Telegraph writes, "Angela Merkel has the future of Europe in her hands." The Daily Mail also compares Merkel to Margaret Thatcher. El Mundo notes that while Merkel pulled off a historic landslide victory, "a clear partner is not on the horizon yet." The Spanish paper refers to Angela Merkel as the uncrowned queen of Europe and adds she is distinguished by winning three elections in a row, in addition to being the only head of a large European country who managed to confirm her mandate in the midst of the crisis while "Gordon Brown, Berlusconi, Sarkozy and Zapatero had to relinquish power." El Pais suggests Merkel's showing is "unequalled since the days of Chancellor Adenauer 50 years ago." Greece's leading daily Ta Nea comments the outcome of the vote is turning Europe into "Merkel-land". It is, the paper continues, a triumph for the "Queen of austerity." Angela Merkel is unrivaled, Rzeczpospolita from Poland writes, while Gazeta Wyborcza points out the Christian Democratic election victory shows the effectiveness of a campaign that "avoided all conflict with the opponent and convinced Germans that only her government can secure general stability and prosperity." The Neue Zurcher Zeitung is convinced that with her soft-spoken manner and many small compromises, Merkel makes sure nobody feels threatened by her dominance. "Thanks to her understatement, even setbacks are not as noticeable," the Swiss daily writes. On its website, the Basler Zeitung comments that Merkel's typical rhombus hand gesture netted better results than [her Social Democratic opponent's] raised middle finger: "Angela Merkel won a capital result." Austria's Standard writes Merkel's "slalom course" brought the CDU new voters - "the conservatives may be angry, but they have no moved here choice but to grudgingly vote for the chancellor all the same." Her middle-of-the-road course is a "triumph for mediocrity," the paper adds. La Repubblica regards Angela Merkel's election victory as the nation's "ceremonial ovation for her victory in the European crisis." It is, the Italian paper writes, "a triumph, it is the return to the battlefield where she has already proven her skills and her courage." Russia's Rossijskaja Gaseta also comments on Germany's national election. <br>More:

Merkel appears on crutches after ski fall

Merkel met with about 100 child carol singers in her Berlin office, joining them in a song to mark epiphany, which celebrates the three wise men's visit to baby Jesus. "I'm not so good at standing and have to lie down a lot," Merkel said welcoming the children to the chancellery on Tuesday. Merkel has been forced to cancel almost all of her other appointments for three weeks after she suffered a fractured pelvis during her Christmas holiday while cross-country skiing in the Engadin valley. This includes a planned visit to Poland and a meeting with the new Luxembourg prime minister, Xavier Bettel. On Wednesday, she will preside over the first cabinet meeting this year. <br>More:

Merkel forced to cancel meetings after ski accident

"She is now following the doctors' advice in order to enable optimal healing," he said. Seibert did not give details about the incident, saying only that Merkel had fallen while cross-country skiing during her holiday, which ended December 30, and adding that he could not say whether click others read were involved. However he said it was assumed Merkel was moving at a "low speed". The injury was kept quiet for over a week until Seibert's announcement at a regular government news conference. Merkel was sworn in for a third term at the helm of Europe's top economy on December 17 following her conservatives' resounding victory in September elections. <br>More:

Angela Merkel is under fire as inner circle seek rich pickings elsewhere

"I believe the president made the call because of her injury," Carney said, adding that he had wished her well following her Christmas period skiing accident that fractured her pelvis. Obama had also congratulated Merkel on the "formation of her new cabinet," Carney added, referring to the inauguration in late December of Merkel's third-term grand coalition government. The two leaders' future talks would include a "full agenda" for 2014, including a proposed transatlantic trade pact and an upcoming NATO summit, he said. 'Breach of trust' Last year, Merkel (pictured with Obama) reacted furiously to revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had listened to her mobile, warning Obama in October that this would amount to a "breach of trust." Washingtonnever confirmed eavesdropping on several world leaders disclosed in media reports sourced to the US whistleblower Edward Snowden. The White House, however, did say the US would not monitor Merkel in the future. <br>More:

Obama invites Merkel to Washington after surveillance row

She is now coming under pressure to challenge critics who say members of her closely-guarded inner circle are, one by one, walking out to sell their experience and knowledge to the highest bidders. Last Friday a government spokesman insisted there was nothing for him to say on the matter as Pofalla was no longer a member of the government. Yesterday, however, spokesman Steffen Seibert was forced to return to the affair by confirming that Merkel had known about the planned move for several weeks. Government sources indicated the German leader had recommended Pofalla take a longer break before any move into business. Cooling-off law As it stands there is no cooling-off law on the German statute books preventing politicians taking their contacts books with them when they switch from public life to private business. But the Pofalla revelations have prompted opposition politicians to demand just that and a public statement from the German leader on the departure of her political aide. <br>More:

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