Merkel hopes history won’t brand her ‘lazy’

Merkel hopes history won't brand her 'lazy'
Angela Merkel on May 19th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Reuters/Pool | Michele Tantussi
After almost 16 years in charge of Europe's biggest economy and often dubbed the most powerful woman in the world, no one could accuse German Chancellor Angela Merkel of kicking back.

But Merkel, who will retire from politics after elections in September, still fears people might think she didn’t work hard enough, she told an online forum hosted by the WDR broadcaster on Thursday.

Asked what she would not want to be written about her in the history books, the veteran chancellor replied: “That I was lazy.”

Merkel made the comment with a wry smile, a nod to her reputation for in fact being exactly the opposite.

The 66-year-old chancellor is famous for packing an eye-wateringly busy schedule and once said she stores sleep like a camel stores water.

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In 2015, her diary itself made the headlines after she packed in meetings in Kiev, Moscow, Washington, Ottawa and Minsk all in the space of one week, culminating in 17 hours of negotiations on a ceasefire deal.

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More recently, Merkel has employed her well-known tactic of wearing people down with all-nighters during negotiations on the European Recovery Fund and when thrashing out virus curbs with Germany’s state premiers.

Asked last year about her plans for retirement, when she might be expected to take it easy, Merkel said: “I haven’t thought about it yet.

“I will continue to work for now and eventually things will fall into place. I am optimistic that I will come up with something.”

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  1. What a disaster it’ll be for Western democracy when Merkel goes. Indeed what a disaster for the world. She towers above all the rest of our leaders put together. And just think, all those spurious Nobel peace prizes dished out to far, far lesser presidents and prime ministers whilst she got nothing. Not that it’ll bother her. At least she’s untainted. One can only have massive respect for her, and also for the quiet respect and support shown to her by the German people.

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