Merkel reelected party leader, defending disputed policies (2)

08:21, November 16, 2010      

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However, Merkel seemed persistent on her decisions, even as polls warned that most German public were unhappy with them. Analysts said the incomplete list of "unpopular policies" includes giving Greece a big bailout package, extending the lifespan of Germany's nuclear power station and promoting a health- care reform that raises employees' expenses. "The achievements of the government could be seen in its deeds, but not always in its style," Merkel said. Those controversial policies "will later prove to be necessary and convince people."

Analysts said Merkel's party would face tough challenges in 2011, dubbed "super election year" when six of Germany's 16 states would hold elections. Recent polls indicated that the popularity of the coalition, especially the FDP, kept falling these months.

"Throw the forecasts in the trash," Merkel told delegates. "We can make it."

The chancellor highlighted her country's solid and swift economic recovery since March this year, powered by soaring exports and sinking unemployment. The number of jobless people hit 5 million months before Merkel first took office in 2005, and now it has slumped below 3 million.

"That isn't a miracle -- it is the German people and also we, the CDU that achieved this," Merkel said.

The chancellor also counter attacked criticisms on Germany's export-led growth model. "We'll never accept being penalized for the fact that we manufacture good products," she said. Germany is open to "fair competitions" from other economies.

During last week's G20 (Group of 20) summit in Seoul, capital of South Korea Merkel rejected U.S. President Barack Obama's call for setting limits on deficits and trade surplus.

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