French President Emmanuel Macron has invited the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel to a farewell visit. An emotional triumphal procession developed.
Beaune – Angela Merkel looked happy that evening in Burgundy, France. The outgoing German Chancellor had come to say goodbye. The French President, in turn, invited her to present her country’s highest honor, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor. “Bienvenue à Beaune, chère Angela. France loves you! ”Emmanuel Macron tweeted happily.
In the small town of Baeaune in Burgundy, numerous onlookers waited behind bars for the two politicians, repeatedly shouting “Vive Mutti” – “Long live Mutti” or “Merci, Angela!”. Actually, Merkel and Macron should only bathe briefly in the crowd, so the protocol said, but a kind of triumphal procession ensued. Macron, who has long been in election campaign mode, shook hands eagerly, Merkel visibly enjoyed the cheering on her, but limited herself to numerous fist-to-fist contacts with the audience. Some distance behind them were their spouses, Joachim Sauer and Brigitte Macron.
Merkel visits France: Chancellor falls into Macron’s arms
Afterwards, both couples visited a hospital foundation together before they retired to an estate in the wine region for music and food. Macron and Merkel exchanged ideas personally behind closed doors and talked about international topics. Again in front of the cameras, Macron presented the Chancellor with a document in which she was first mentioned 30 years ago as a participant in a delegation trip to Paris. Both of them patted each other on the shoulders and hugged each other. As the Elysée Palace announced, the visit marked the end of a fruitful collaboration between the President and the Chancellor, both for Franco-German cooperation and at European level.
“Since you became Chancellor, France has learned to get to know you and then to love you,” said Macron. First Jacques Chirac was their counterpart, then President Nicolas Sarkozy during the financial crisis and the struggle for the cohesion of the euro zone, then François Hollande in view of the terror and the refugee crisis, and then they all together Corona-pandemic lived through and worked on the future of Europe, said Macron. During her term in office, Merkel had promoted Germany and worked for European cohesion, he praised the outgoing Chancellor.
Merkel visits Macron: “Wonderful friendship with France”
“It’s a wonderful friendship with France and the President has taken me to a wonderful place where you can also experience France as it is outside of Paris, that’s also important,” said Merkel. And Macron also had some personal words of thanks ready: “I would like to thank you for teaching me so much and for accepting this stormy young president who wanted to move everything. I think we have achieved a lot together and have done a lot for Europe in recent years. “(Dpa / AFP / fmü)
Headline list image: © Philippe Desmazes / AFP