Chancellor Angela Merkel's government appears ready to end weeks of intense debate and back a new law this week which would give Berlin the right to seize private property for the first time in the postwar era.

The law, an extension of bank rescue legislation agreed last year, is due to go before Merkel's cabinet on Wednesday and would set the stage for a nationalisation of Hypo Real Estate, a high-profile casualty of the financial crisis.

Germany could learn a lot from the US under the Paulson/Geithner Treasury, where the "Nike" philosophy seems to prevail: "Just do it".

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