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Economy minister Gabriel to challenge Merkel: report

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has decided to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in this year’s election, the top-selling Bild newspaper reported Tuesday citing sources from his Social Democrats. Gabriel, 57, currently serves as Merkel’s vice-chancellor and holds the economy brief, and leads the Social Democratic Party (SPD), junior partner in Merkel’s right-left coalition government. Although an official announcement is not expected until January 29, Bild said that Gabriel had finally taken his decision to throw his hat in the ring.

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