Germany Merkel

January 5, 2013 - 10:32 AM
German chancellor Angela Merkel pauses during her speech at a party leaders' meeting in Wilhelmshaven, northern Germany Saturday Jan. 5, 2013. Chancellor Angela Merkel is highlighting Germany's economic strength and dismissing worries that her party could be dragged down by its struggling coalition partner as she kicks off campaigning for an important state election. Merkel's center-right coalition faces a tough battle to extend its 10-year hold on Lower Saxony state in the Jan. 20 election. Polls suggest the center-left opposition has a good chance of winning - giving it a significant boost ahead of September national elections in which Merkel will seek a third term. (AP Photo/dapd/ David Hecker)