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Germany

Schröder Cancels Austria Trip Due to Asian Disaster

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has called off a planned New Year's visit to Austria amid reports that at least 100 Germans are missing in the Asian tsunami disaster, a government spokesman said Wednesday. Schröder was to travel to Vienna on Jan. 1 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Austria's accession to the European Union and join his Austrian counterpart Wolfgang Schüssel at a New Year's concert at the city's Philharmonic concert hall. The German leader cut short his winter vacation in his hometown Hanover, northern Germany, Tuesday to lead a government crisis team dealing with the missing and injured German nationals still in southern Asia and coordinating aid for the afflicted region. Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer told reporters Tuesday that the number of Germans missing was in the "three-figure" range but has declined to confirm any deaths.

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