Germany's Merkel launches whirlwind election campaign
SELIGENSTADT, Germany (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel chose a picturesque small town to launch into full campaign mode for an election in which she is seen likely to stay at the helm of Europe's biggest economy.
Speaking in the old town square of Seligenstadt near Frankfurt late on Wednesday, the woman affectionately dubbed "Mutti" or mum by some made the case that her conservative government is the most successful since reunification in 1990.
Undeterred by some hecklers, she pointed at achievements in health, education and aged care as she kicked off a whirlwind campaign tour that will see her speak at 56 events in 40 days.
In the enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 supporters, many waved signs saying "Angie".