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Sep 25, 2013 04:29 PM

What Merkel Can Do for Europe


It is not entirely clear whether it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) who first said "with great power comes great responsibility" but whoever it was, the sentence perfectly applies to Germany's chancellor's Angela Merkel.

Her resounding electoral victory gives her a legitimacy that few of her fellow leaders enjoy. The stunning fact that the anti-euro party got less than 5 percent of the vote in a country obsessed by the costs that the euro crisis may inflict upon national savers gives her exceptional strength. Even the fact that her party fell short of an absolute majority is a blessing in disguise. The coalition she is about to form is likely to command a majority of 503 seats in the 630-strong Bundestag.

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