“I’m free now,” Angela Merkel says of her new life
Angela Merkel took stock. In an extensive interview, she admitted that until recently she was unable to achieve anything with Vladimir Putin. But she doesn’t blame herself, especially since cheaper gas from Russia has benefited the economy. And he has plans for the future.
DIn an interview, former Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke at length about her past few months in office and the current conflicts with Russia, as well as her joy in her new role as a privateer.
“I was so tired,” said Merkel Editorial Network Journalists from Germany (Rnd/Saturday). But she was not a “half-dead wreck.” In early 1998, she announced that she never wanted to end up like this.
But now he is in a new stage of life: “Now I am free”. It’s a good feeling. “I treat myself like that because I feel like I’ve done it for a long time.” However, it is “still unusual” that there is no longer time frame pressure. Ten days earlier, Merkel answered a journalist’s questions at the Berliner Ensemble for the first time since leaving the chancellor.
Merkel defended her decision to build the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline for Russia. The CDU politician, who was chancellor from 2005 to 2021, said, “I did not believe in change through trade, but in terms of trade, with the world’s second largest nuclear power.” But it was not an easy decision. “The thesis at that time was: If Nord Stream 2 is operational, Putin will cut off the gas supply through Ukraine or even attack it.”
However, the West ensured that gas is still sent through Ukraine. At the time, however, the German economy decided to transport gas from Russia because it was economically cheaper than obtaining liquefied gas from Arab countries or later from the United States.
The “Most Emotional Phase” Was the Refugee Crisis
Merkel acknowledged that her influence over Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin was waning shortly before he stepped down. “It was clear that I would not be in office for much longer, and so I just have to say that the various efforts over the past year have had no effect,” she said in the RND interview.
Putin was no longer willing to hold summit meetings with representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the so-called Normandy format. “On the other hand, I did not succeed in creating an additional European-Russian discussion format on the European Security Order with the Normandy format.” Russia attacked its neighboring country Ukraine on 24 February.
Looking back, Merkel insisted that the “most emotional phase” in office was the refugee crisis. “2015/2016 was an extremely stressful time, but I was very strong inside.” His actions were on the part of his party in accordance with Article C and the Basic Law. The C in CDU stands for Christian. Article 1 of the Basic Law obliges us to protect human dignity and includes a commitment to human rights.
When many refugees, mainly Syrians, came to Germany through Hungarians and Austrians in late 2015, Merkel decided not to close the German borders. One of his most famous sentences at the time was said: “We can do this.” Merkel’s decision was controversial within the union, but also within society.
Why he deliberately avoided references to East Germany
Merkel has an East German background and grew up in East Germany. However, during his Chancellorship he avoided making too much reference to it. But now she wants to get to know West Germany better in a new phase of her life. The former chancellor said, “I have rarely been without purpose in the old Confederate states.” “I’ve never been to Lorelei or the Moselle Loop or Trier Cathedral or Speyer Cathedral alone.”
During her Chancellorship, there was not enough time for many concerns – even for mourning her mother, who died in April 2019, days before the EU summit, Merkel admitted . “It is part of round-the-clock availability. When there is a Council of the European Union, there is a Council of the European Union. When it is a night session, it is a night session. If I’m not in bed with a fever at 40, I’ll go to the EU Council.”
That was his understanding of the office. But she also considered her more than 30 years of political time a great honor. As already announced, he will now write a book about this and about his childhood and youth with Beit Baumann, his longtime office manager in the GDR.
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