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Germany's Merkel: The Constant Chancellor

By The Economist, The Economist - February 9, 2011

EVERY year the German Language Society selects a word of the year and an “unword”, usually something somebody said but should not have done. Wutbürger (irate citizen) was the word for 2010. The unword was alternativlos (no alternative), as in “the bail-out of Greece was alternativlos.” These choices capture something of Germany’s mood these days. Wutbürger refers to Germans who are angry about huge infrastructure projects, among other things, and disenchanted with conventional party politics. Alternativlos suggests a sense of frustration and resignation.

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