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Germany

Schröder Denies Resignation Rumors

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder found himself mired in resignation rumors Wednesday, forcing the German leader and his senior allies to rubbish reports that expose his fragility ahead of early elections. Schröder himself dismissed a rumor allegedly sourced to a top official in his ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD). "I have no intention of commenting on the sort of rubbish which is put out by this or that person," he said. The SPD official, speaking in the German press under cover of anonymity, said Schröder was under pressure from within the party to make way for Franz Müntefering, the party's chairman. Schröder is likely to trigger early elections by September. The opposition Christian Democrats, which lead by a large margin in the polls, have chosen their leader, Angela Merkel, as chancellor candidate, making her the first woman in that position.

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