When struck Germany in the spring, Chancellor won plaudits for the calm determination with which she dealt with the pandemic.

Across the Baltic Sea, Sweden’s way of life was barely interrupted as the country became a beacon for libertarians across the world who opposed national lockdowns.

The practical north Europeans seemed to be proceeding confidently while Britain, France, Italy and Spain floundered in the face of an ever-mounting death toll. Now, however, their magic touch seems less convincing.

Northern Europe's Covid calm goes south as cases climb fast

German chancellor is struggling to win backing for stronger curbs

MICHAEL SOHN

As Merkel grapples with a second and more powerful wave of the virus — with new cases hitting a daily record of 23,648 on Friday — she is struggling to win the backing of Germany’s regional leaders for tougher curbs.

Those who argue that

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