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5 December 2012 – Presseurop

Angela Merkel has been elected for the seventh time to the leadership of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), with 97.94 per cent of the ballot of delegates at a congress in Hanover. The vote will mean that she will run for a third term as Chancellor in 2013.

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Madame 98% – Die Welt

No one in the CDU or in Europe can afford to ignore the Chancellor, remarks the daily, which argues that in the wake of the “rapid demystification of the French President,” François Hollande, Merkel is once again the uncontested leader of the union.

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Angela I: Regina Germaniae et Europae – Die Presse

UK Chancellor George Osborne is expected to detail severe cuts across several government departments as he unveils his new Autumn budget statement today. The savings will be used to fund a £5bn (€6bn) package of new schools, roads and science projects. Osborne had hoped to complete the austerity drive ahead of the 2015 election, but has been hampered by low growth and stubbornly high borrowing.

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Osborne to extend austerity into 2018 – Financial Times

Associations representing veterans of the 1989 Revolution are preparing a major demonstration in front of the headquarters of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and the National Integrity Agency, two institutions they describe as “Stalinist” and which they want closed down. With a few days left to run before general elections slated for December 9, Prime Minister Victor Ponta has pledged to increase benefit payments, which had been cut at the beginning of the year.

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Street protests to raise pressure on NAD and NIA – România libera

The regional government of Catalonia has angrily reacted to the announcement by the Spanish Minister for Education, José Ignacio Wert, of a plan to make Castilian Spanish the main teaching language in all of the country’s regions. In Catalonia, where Catalan is used as a teaching language in the course of immersion programmes, the move would downgrade the status of the regional language from priority language to speciality language.

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No turning back – El Periódico de Catalunya

Exports of snus, a type of chewing tobacco that is only legal in Sweden, will continue to be banned in other EU countries. The Swedish government’s argument that the product is less dangerous than cigarettes failed to convince the European Commission, which nonetheless did give up some ground to the tobacco industry by dropping a plan to make cigarette packets identical throughout the EU.

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Sweden loses the fight for snus – Dagens Nyheter

Germany plans to recover €150bn from Germans who have illegally deposited money in Switzerland either through a tax agreement, which has yet to be agreed, or by using a CD containing data stolen from Swiss banks. On December 4, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia announced that it had spent €3.5m on a CD with data on German owned Swiss bank accounts containing €2.9bn.

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Tax evasion: Swiss haven under pressure – Les Echos

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