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German minister's stolen Mercedes found in Spain

GERMAN federal police say the health minister's official car that had been stolen in Spain has been found abandoned near city where it was stolen.

Police said today that Ulla Schmidt's 100,000 euro (US$141,498) Mercedes S-Class sedan was found outside Alicante where she had been on vacation.

The Social Democrat is facing widespread criticism for having her chauffeur drive the official car from Germany to the Spanish city of Alicante - a 1,500-mile (2,400-kilometer) trip - so she could use it during her vacation.

The case is a blow for the Social Democrats, who already face an uphill battle against Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives ahead of fall elections.


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