Merkel's challengers for the 2013 federal elections in Germany, the top candidate of the German Social Democratic Party, Peer Steinbrueck, left, and the candidate Green Party, Juergen Trittin, right, joke with the spokesman of the German government, not pictured, prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Associated Press
Merkel's challengers for the 2013 federal elections in Germany,  the top candidate of the German Social Democratic Party, Peer Steinbrueck, left, and the candidate Green Party, Juergen Trittin, right, joke with the spokesman of the German government, not pictured, prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Merkel's challengers for the 2013 federal elections in Germany, the top candidate of the German Social Democratic Party, Peer Steinbrueck, left, and the candidate Green Party, Juergen Trittin, right, joke with the spokesman of the German government, not pictured, prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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