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Germany

Schröder Hails Koizumi Win

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Monday congratulated Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on his landslide election victory, days before he faces a similar test at the polls. "Congratulations on your re-election. The Japanese people voted for the continuation of your reform program," Schröder said in a statement. "I have fond memories of our conversations... and hope we will have a chance to continue our exchange of ideas," he added. Koizumi on Sunday clinched a massive victory and a mandate for his reforms after staking his career on an early election many mistook for political suicide. Schröder has risked a similar gamble, calling elections 12 months early in search of a fresh mandate after his Social-Democrats lost a key state election in May. But surveys show that he is unlikely to pull off the same feat as Koizumi on Sept. 18, with his party trailing the conservatives of Angela Merkel by 7 percentage points in the latest polls.

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