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Merkel's Hand Strengthened by German Voters Ahead of Summits

  • Chancellor hosts Macron in Berlin, then NATO and G-7 meetings
  • SPD challengers defeated in last test before national election
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Merkel Buoyed by German Local Vote

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Chancellor Angela Merkel is picking up a tailwind for Germany’s election in September, strengthening her position at home and on the global stage ahead of a series of summits with fellow leaders including President Donald Trump.

Written off last year for her open-border stance on refugees, Merkel is clawing back when it counts. Her party’s election victory in Germany’s most populous state on Sunday highlights her pull among voters as Merkel vows to hold the European Union together, defends for free trade and rebuffs Trump’s pressure to accelerate defense spending. Merkel plans to hold a news conference Monday at about 1 p.m. in Berlin, before hosting French President Emmanuel Macron for their first meeting after his inauguration.