Merkel denies resignation rumours

Chancellor Angela Merkel has denied a report in Der Spiegel magazine that she plans to resign ahead of the 2017 elections.

Merkel denies resignation rumours
Merkel has refuted rumours that she plans to step down early. Photo: DPA

According to the report in Der Spiegel, high-ranking sources close to the chancellor claim she is planning to leave her position before the end of her third term, and will consider a new role, including UN Secretary-General and President of the European Commission Council.

The move would make her the first German head of office to voluntarily step down since 1949.

"She is really very tempted", a member of Merkel's cabinet told the magazine.

Merkel pledged to serve a full term in office during last year's elections, and party spokesmen have denied all allegations that she may leave early.

The chancellor herself dispelled the claims in a television interview on TV station ZDF on Saturday. "I plan to work through the term as chancellor and then we will see." That "obviously" holds true for the full term, she confirmed.

Merkel also refuted her supposed interest in succeeding Ban Ki-moon as UN General-Secretary, telling ZDF it would "certainly not happen".

SEE ALSO: Merkel laments breakdown of trust with USA

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Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has sued the German parliament for removing some of his official post-retirement perks over his links to Russian energy giants, his lawyer said Friday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Schröder, 78, has come under heavy criticism for his proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin and involvement with state-backed energy companies.

The decision to suspend Schröder’s taxpayer-funded office and staff in May was “contrary to the rule of law”, Michael Nagel, told public broadcaster NDR.

Schröder “heard of everything through the media”, Nagel said, noting that the Social Democrat had asked for a hearing before the budget committee responsible but was not given the chance to express himself.

READ ALSO: Germany strips Schröder of official perks over Russia ties

Schröder’s lawyers filed the complaint with an administrative Berlin court, a spokesman for the court confirmed.

In its decision to strip him of the perks, the committee concluded that Schröder, who served as chancellor from 1998 to 2005, “no longer upholds the continuing obligations of his office”.

Most of Schröder’s office staff had already quit before the final ruling was made.

Despite resigning from the board of Russian oil company Rosneft and turning down a post on the supervisory board of gas giant Gazprom in May, Schröder has maintained close ties with the Kremlin.

The former chancellor met Putin in July, after which he said Moscow was ready for a “negotiated solution” to the war in Ukraine — comments branded as “disgusting” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Last week, the Social Democrats concluded that Schröder would be allowed to remain a member after he was found not have breached party rules over his ties to the Russian President.

Schröder’s stance on the war and solo diplomacy has made him an embarrassment to the SPD, which is also the party of current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.