Poll: Merkel's popularity highest in over two years

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Feb. 29, 2012, 11:26 a.m. | World — by Associated Press

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a media conference after an EU summit in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012.
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BERLIN (AP) — A poll shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity at its highest since her second term began in 2009, despite new turbulence in her center-right coalition. The poll for Stern magazine released Wednesday, based on a 0-100 scale of confidence, put Merkel on 64 points.

That was two points higher than in December and the best since the coalition of Merkel's conservative bloc and the pro-business Free Democrats took power in October 2009.

The alliance has become notorious for infighting. The Free Democrats recently forced Merkel to accept Joachim Gauck, a candidate she previously opposed, as Germany's next president.

Merkel, however, has won respect for her handling of the eurozone debt crisis. The poll of 1,001 people, conducted Feb. 22-23, gave a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.
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