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Merkel challenger criticized for saying leaders underpaid

BERLIN - Chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck was widely criticized on Sunday, even by his own center-left Social Democrats (SPD), for saying German leaders were underpaid.
Steinbrueck has struggled to gain ground against Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of next September's election, in part due to lingering criticism over him earning 1.25 million euros ($1.65 million) as an after-dinner speaker in the past three years.
The remarks from the former finance minister about what he called the inadequate compensation for the chancellor drew speedy rebukes across the country's political spectrum, including from the last SPD chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
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