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Crushing Defeat for Germany's Merkel as Voters Reject Austerity

Guardian UK - Voters in Germany's most populous state handed a resounding victory to the center-left , dealing a heavy blow to Angela Merkel's conservatives in what was interpreted as a backlash against the chancellor's European austerity campaign.

Exit polls in the election in North Rhine-Westphalia showed Hannelore Kraft of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) had soundly beat her Christian Democrat (CDU) rival Norbert Röttgen, Merkel's environment minister.  Read more.

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