Angela Merkel suffers severe setback in second set of local elections

Angela Merkel has suffered another political setback at home after voters in the state of North Rhine Westphalia gave her CDU party approval of just 25.8% – the party’s poorest result since the Second World War.

It is a blow for the German Chancellor (pictured) as she meets her incoming French counterpart Francois Hollande today.

German federal elections are still over a year away, but her backing of various bailout packages for her eurozone neighbours – with Germany writing the largest cheques – has made the CDU party ever less popular domestically.

Late last week the weekly newspaper Die Zeit had a picture of Merkel on its cover above the headline: “How much longer?”

Merkel’s party also recently lost the kind of power that would allow it to rue in coalition with the Free Democratic Party in the state of Schleswig Holstein.

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