Peer Steinbrueck, Social Democratic Party (SPD) challenger for Chancellor Angela Merkel at the upcoming general election in autumn, listens to a news conference of SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel and Stephan Weil, top candidate in Lower Saxony at the party's headquarters in Berlin, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. The opposition parties SPD and Green Party eked out a victory in a neck-and-neck state election in Lower Saxony, Germany, winning 69 seats in Lower Saxony, home to about one tenth of German voters, while the governing Christian Democrats and Free Democrats retained 68 seats. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Associated Press
Peer Steinbrueck, Social Democratic Party (SPD) challenger for Chancellor Angela Merkel at the upcoming general election in autumn,  listens to a news conference of SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel and Stephan Weil, top candidate in Lower Saxony at the party's headquarters in Berlin, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.  The opposition parties SPD and Green Party eked out a victory in a neck-and-neck state election in Lower Saxony, Germany, winning 69 seats in Lower Saxony, home to about one tenth of German voters, while the governing Christian Democrats and Free Democrats retained 68 seats. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Peer Steinbrueck, Social Democratic Party (SPD) challenger for Chancellor Angela Merkel at the upcoming general election in autumn, listens to a news conference of SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel and Stephan Weil, top candidate in Lower Saxony at the party's headquarters in Berlin, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. The opposition parties SPD and Green Party eked out a victory in a neck-and-neck state election in Lower Saxony, Germany, winning 69 seats in Lower Saxony, home to about one tenth of German voters, while the governing Christian Democrats and Free Democrats retained 68 seats. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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