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Ex-German finance chief to take on Merkel: report

BERLIN -- Germany's opposition Social Democrats have chosen Peer Steinbrueck, a former finance minister, to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in elections next year, a newspaper reported on Friday.

Citing party sources, mass circulation Bild said the center-left party had selected Steinbrueck, 65, to run against Merkel in the election that will be held in September or October 2013.

Bild said Sigmar Gabriel, the head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), would propose Steinbrueck at a special meeting of the party on Monday.

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