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Voters in Germany went to the polls on September 24 and returned Angela Merkel to the chancellorship for her fourth term. In some sense, the result was not very surprising. The German economy has been expanding steadily for the past four years, and the unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in the post-reunification period (Figure 1). However, the electoral results were not all positive for Chancellor Merkel. Yes, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) won a plurality with 33 percent of the votes cast.

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