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IN PICTURES: Merkel receives royal treatment during visit to Bavaria

On Tuesday Chancellor Angela Merkel visited picturesque Chiemsee in southern Germany as she discussed Germany's EU council presidency and the coronavirus crisis with Bavarian premier Markus Söder.

IN PICTURES: Merkel receives royal treatment during visit to Bavaria
Bavarian state premier Markus Söder and Chancellor Angela Merkel travel in style to Herrenchiemsee Island. Photo: DPA

Merkel, of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) went on the unusual trip to visit Söder, of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), to take part in a cabinet meeting. It has fuelled rumours that Söder is the leading contender to take over as possible future chancellor when she steps down.

READ ALSO: Is Bavaria's leader on course to become Germany's next chancellor?

With a boat trip and horse-drawn carriage, Merkel received the very best treatment on her trip away from Berlin. Adding to the royal atmosphere of the trip, Germany's Bild newspaper called Söder the “crown prince”.

The meeting took place at noon in the oppulent Herrenchiemsee Palace, a complex of royal buildings on Herreninsel, the largest island in the Chiemsee lake, in southern Bavaria

Photo: DPA

Taking part in state cabinet meetings are an absolute exception in Merkel's diary. Her visit to Bavaria shows that the Chancellor is on very good terms with Söder.

In recent months, other members of the federal government have taken part in meetings of the Bavarian cabinet, including Health Minister Jens Spahn and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

The pair wore face masks for some of the time during the visit. Markus Söder, of course, wore the Bavarian blue and white colours.

Photo: DPA

And it appeared like they enjoyed a great day out, waving to people while on their boat trip to the island of Herrenchiemsee in the stunning surroundings.

They then took a horse-drawn carriage to the palace.

Photo: DPA

“We are pleased that the Chancellor is visiting our cabinet meeting on Herrenchiemsee today,” said Söder on Twitter. “Welcome to one of the most beautiful places in Bavaria!”

Photo: DPA

The pair were discussing Germany's EU council presidency as well as the coronavirus crisis. We wonder if Merkel was given a Bavarian-themed face mask to take back to Berlin?

Photo: DPA

Demo

Bavarian farmers used the visit to protest against the government's agricultural policy.

They demonstrated with a kilometre-long tractor queue at Chiemsee.

According to police, about 300 tractors were parked along the road this morning, from the Autobahn exit to Prien. There was also a registered demonstration with about 50 participants.

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POLITICS

‘A good thing’ for footballers to express values, says France’s PM

France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne - speaking in Berlin - said that footballers should be allowed to express their values, amid controversy over FIFA's stance against the 'OneLove' armband on the pitch.

'A good thing' for footballers to express values, says France's PM

“There are rules for what happens on the field but I think it’s a good thing for players to be able to express themselves on the values that we obviously completely share, while respecting the rules of the tournament,” said Borne at a press conference in Berlin on Friday.

Germany’s players made headlines before Wednesday’s shock loss to Japan when the team lined up for their pre-match photo with their hands covering their mouths after FIFA’s threat to sanction players wearing the rainbow-themed armband.

Seven European nations, including Germany, had previously planned for their captains to wear the armband, but backed down over FIFA’s warning.

Following Germany’s action, Wales and the Netherlands have since come out to say they would not mirror the protest.

Borne’s visit to Germany was her first since she was named to her post in May.

Following talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two leaders signed an agreement for “mutual support” on “guaranteeing their energy supplies”.

Concrete measures outlined in the deal include France sending Germany gas supplies as Berlin seeks to make up for gaping holes in deliveries from Russia.

Germany meanwhile would help France “secure its electricity supplies over winter”, according to the document.

France had since 1981 been a net exporter of electricity to its neighbours because of its nuclear plants. But maintenance issues dogging the plants have left France at risk of power cuts in case of an extremely cold winter.

The two leaders also affirmed their countries’ commitment to backing Ukraine “to the end of” its conflict with invaders Russia.

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