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Merkel kicks off 60th with impromptu serenade

  • The Associated Press
  • Published Thursday, July 17, 2014, at 4:52 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014, at 4:52 a.m.

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— German Chancellor Angela Merkel's 60th birthday got off to a less-than-melodious start.

A German television reporter launched into a rendition of "Happy Birthday, Liebe Bundeskanzlerin (Dear Chancellor)" at a news conference in Brussels early Thursday — but got no backup from his colleagues.

Merkel laughed and said: "I should have sung along, then it would have been better. But thank you."

Merkel, who has led Germany for 8 ½ years, said her European Union colleagues at their summit "didn't sing, they just gave me flowers — that was nice too — and champagne."

The chancellor officially marks her birthday later Thursday with a reception at her party's headquarters in Berlin, where German historian Juergen Osterhammel is to deliver a lecture.

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