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German health minister loses her government car... in Spain

Although Britain's expenses scandal hurt politicians on both sides of the aisle, the Labour Party did bear the brunt of the blow, with several cabinet ministers resigning in the aftermath. The opposite may happen in Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel's health minister is under fire after her official car was stolen, but, fortunately for Merkel, the health minister is from the opposition.

The German health minister, Ulla Schmidt, has been criticised after her official car was stolen in Spain, where she was using it during her vacation.

The 90,000 euro (£78,000) Mercedes S-class was stolen in Alicante.

Mrs. Schmidt flew there at her own expense. Her chauffeur drove 2,400km (1,500 miles) to meet her so she could carry out some official business.

But opposition politicians want to know why she needed her car in Spain, when embassy vehicles are available.

Schmidt has filled the role of Health Minister since 2005, when Merkel's Christian Democrats formed a grand coalition with the opposition Social Democrats. Schmidt's scandal comes at a particularly poor time for her party, as Merkel's party has increased its lead in the polls to 12 points only two months before a new round of elections. 

Also, German ministers get a Mercedes S-class for official business? Snazzy.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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