Merkel vows not to become political ‘troubleshooter’ in retirement

BERLIN – Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not plan to stand by to help with the crises of the day if she left her position at the top of Europe’s largest economy.

“I will no longer interfere in politics,” said Merkel in an interview about her political legacy German wave Released on sunday. “I will not be a troubleshooter for political conflicts. I’ve been doing that for many years, 16 years as Federal Chancellor. “

Merkel said her immediate plan after leaving office after the formation of a new government – at that point likely in early December if the three-party coalition talks went according to plan – was to sleep and read.

“It’s just that for many years I was very busy with the agenda and always had to be ready,” said Merkel. “As a head of government, you have to do that when something happens so that you can always react to it immediately. Now I’m looking at what I would like to do voluntarily. But that will only show in a few months. “

During the 20-minute interview, Merkel repeatedly emphasized her commitment to multilateralism and said she would miss French President Emmanuel Macron and other heads of state and government.

Regarding climate policy, Merkel, who was Federal Environment Minister in the 1990s, said she understood the pressure of young people to fight climate change more quickly.

“Never before has the gap between scientific estimates and reality widened. That has to change now in this decade, ”said Merkel, while the discussions about the achievement of the climate targets continued at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

“We do not do badly in Germany in an international comparison,” she added.

Merkel also said that one of her toughest moments was in 2015 when the country saw a large influx of refugees from war-torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan. She said famously at the time: “We can do it” (we make it), opened the country’s borders to asylum seekers in a controversial decision.

“Yes, we did it,” said Merkel in an interview with Deutsche Welle, but admitted that “not everything went as it should”.

“Of course, we are not yet out of the box when it comes to tackling the root causes of flight and migration,” she said. “We have not yet managed to give Europe a common system for dealing with asylum and migration.”

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