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Kohl swipes at Merkel

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under attack from former leader Helmut Kohl for her "unpredictable and erratic" leadership. Dr Merkel was named the world's most powerful woman by Forbes but has drawn criticism from her former colleagues for her handling of the European crisis.

Mr Kohl said policies ranging from co-operation with European partners to ties with the US lacked direction and risked undermining German influence.

However, Dr Merkel brushed aside her political mentor's accusation that she was betraying his legacy.

"Every era has its specific challenges," Dr Merkel said.

"Helmut Kohl's achievements as chancellor of German and European unity cannot be valued highly enough."