Merkel dismisses speculation she could move to big EU job

18 Mai, 2019, 04:46 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel center German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas left and German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz talk as they arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin Germany Wednesday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed speculation she will take a top European Union job after standing down as leader at the end of her fourth term.

Merkel told reporters Thursday her statement stands that she won't take "any other political office, no matter where it is".

In her two-step plan to leave politics, Merkel past year gave up the leadership of the Christian Democratic Union party, before stepping down as chancellor when her mandate runs out in 2021.

"Our political values differ in many areas and yet we have common interests", Merkel said in an interview with the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

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"The current developments after the local elections do not make it more likely that Turkey will join the European Union", she said, adding that she has always been sceptical about a full membership perspective, but favored "special relations" between the EU and Turkey.

Announcing her withdrawal a year ago, the veteran said she hoped it would allow her fragile coalition to finally focus on governing Europe's top economy, rather than lurch from crisis to crisis because of infighting.

"I am not available for any further political office, regardless of where it is - including in Europe", Merkel told a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Berlin. However, there are questions over whether the fragile governing coalition of Merkel's conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats will last that long, or whether Merkel might try to hand over the chancellery before then to her successor as party leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

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