It was late as last Sunday evening the phone by Jens Spahn rang. On the screen, the latest high-flickered just a bill from the state of Hesse. The CDU loses 11.3 per cent – a Disaster. Spahn looks up briefly from the TV on the screen, then he takes the call. At the other end of the line, Friedrich Merz. The two not for a long time with polite phrases. Merz comes to the point. Spahn had noticed that he was considering a return to politics, says the 62-year-old lawyer – if he could count on Spahns support?

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It was a short conversation, Spahn says no, but he makes this evening his rival, Merz very clear that he had his own ambitions.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.