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'High Esteem' Merkel Offers Support to Beleaguered President

The scandal surrounding German President Christian Wulff and his private loans and efforts to silence the media continued to grow this week with a public fight brewing between the head of state and the country's largest newspaper. On Friday, however, Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped in to back him.
German President Christian Wulff (top left) and his wife Bettina meet "Sternsinger" carol singers during a reception at Bellevue Palace on Thursday.

German President Christian Wulff (top left) and his wife Bettina meet "Sternsinger" carol singers during a reception at Bellevue Palace on Thursday.

REUTERS
dsl -- with wires