Destinations Magazine

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is Taking Her Time to Retire

By Stizzard

"WE ARE FAMILY!" blared the loudspeakers, as the grandees of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), merrily marched on stage in Münster on April 27th. For once, the musical choice seemed apt. Last year a sororal row over immigration between the two conservative parties nearly tore Germany's government apart. But all was forgotten as they launched their joint campaign for the European election on May 26th. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Markus Söder, new leaders of the CDU and CSU respectively, beamed as they swapped platitudes on stage and gave their blessing to Manfred Weber, a CSU man running for the European Commission presidency. Only one family member was missing.

Angela Merkel's absence in Münster was no less strange for being long-trailed. It was as if the Avengers held a reunion and Captain America had a diary conflict. During the previous European election campaign, in 2014, the chancellor's face was plastered all over the CDU's posters. This time she will make just two appearances, one of them abroad. She will also skip three state elections in east Germany this autumn, to the relief of some local party barons. "The chancellor is already in early retirement," said Christian Lindner, leader of the opposition Free Democrats, this week.


The Economist: Europe
Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, is taking her time to retire

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