What is Angela Merkel doing now? Ex-Chancellor is pursuing a big goal


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From: Patrick Mayer, Patrick Freiwah

After 16 years as Chancellor, it’s over: Angela Merkel (CDU) is retiring. © IMAGO / Future Image

Angela Merkel’s term as Federal Chancellor has ended after 16 years. Now it’s time for retirement – and with it a challenge for the CDU politician.

Update from December 8, 6:15 p.m.: After 16 years: Angela Merkel (CDU) is no longer Chancellor of Germany, the affairs of state took over this Wednesday with the swearing-in ceremony in the German Bundestag and the appointment by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier from the SPD, the new traffic light Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

But how will things continue with Merkel, since the CDU politician is now retiring at the age of 67? In an interview published on October 22, she told the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ)that she would first sleep in the days after she took office, “certainly more and more afterwards,” she said: “But I don’t think you’ll sleep through the next day.” With a view to Scholz’s successor, a Social Democrat, she said : “There will be political differences, that goes without saying. But I can sleep peacefully.”

Angela Merkel (CDU): Chancellor aD retires between Berlin and Brandenburg

Incidentally, she is allowed to continue her title as Federal Chancellor, with the addition aD – out of service. Furthermore, she will sometimes be referred to as the former Federal Chancellor. She first had to realize that “someone else is now doing her previous tasks,” she said in July 2021 during a visit to Washington: “I think I’ll like that very much.”

Instead, in her newly won free time, she wanted to think about “what actually interests me,” she said at the time in the United States. “After that maybe I’ll try to read something, then my eyes will droop because I’m tired, then I’ll get some sleep and then we’ll see where I show up,” she said. Recently, Merkel had repeatedly confirmed that she wanted to take a break and not accept any invitations.

In the video: France’s Macron thanks Merkel as he says goodbye

What else could she do with the time? According to Deutsche Welle (DW) Merkel likes to cook potato soup and likes to bake plum cake with crumbles. Away from Berlin, she lives with her husband Joachim Sauer in a fairly simple and unremarkable house in Brandenburg. By the way, your retirement is financially well secured.

So she gets loud DW initially continue to pay their salary for three months and then half as a so-called transitional allowance for a maximum of 21 months. Ultimately, according to media reports, Merkel can expect a “pension” of around 15,000 euros a month. Furthermore, as a former head of government, she is entitled to bodyguards, a company car and an office in the German Bundestag in Berlin until the end of her life. You probably won’t see them there for the time being.

After the election of Olaf Scholz (SPD): Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is retiring

First report from September 26th: Berlin – Chancellor Angela Merkel has been in charge of the federal government since 2005. A long time in which the 67-year-old can look back on some ups and downs. The four terms of office for the native of Hamburg must have been demanding and exhausting. (Election dates, live ticker, background reporting – all information about the 2021 federal election can be found in our political newsletter.)

However, anyone who believes that Merkel’s political activity will end abruptly after the federal election is mistaken: the head of government will also reside in the chancellery: Article 69 of the Basic Law provides that business will continue until the new chancellor has been determined: On At the request of the Federal President, the incumbent is obliged to do so. And it can take months for that to happen.

Angela Merkel (CDU) will retire after the 2021 federal election

In the previous federal election, the CDU/CSU and SPD were only finally able to agree on a coalition agreement in March 2018 – the election took place six months earlier. Here we explain how the process within the German Bundestag is presented. So it will be a while before Chancellor Merkel can focus on her retirement. She could even break a record – and replace her political foster father Helmut Kohl as the longest-serving Federal Chancellor.

His term of office ended after 5870 days in 1998. If the 67-year-old is still in office on December 17th, she will have the new record. Until the new federal government is formed, the daughter of a pastor and a teacher will remain in office. The position of responsibility ends when the new parliament meets for the first time.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants to take a break first

When the Union politician was visiting the United States in July, she was asked about the idea for her retirement. The Chancellor explained that she would not accept any invitations for the time being and would like to take a break. It would be unusual for someone else to do her tasks, but she would “like it”. “Then I will understand that I have free time (…). Take a break and think about what actually interests me,” is her assessment.

Merkel was very tired, wanted to close her eyes and then go to bed, explained the chancellor in a flashy robe (she received an honorary doctorate from a university) on US TV:

Angela Merkel: The chancellor is financially secure

As with other people who work a lot, the question will also arise for the “most powerful woman in the world” with the abrupt end of her working life: Can someone who has been massively busy for decades and had a lot of responsibility switch off?

At least financially, the long-time head of government does not have to worry: Due to the chancellorship, the federal government (Federal Ministers Act) and many years of membership in the Bundestag (Members Act), the gross monthly income is said to be over 35,000 euros. After the political end, she will initially continue to be paid her salary for three months, then half of it for a maximum of 21 months as a transitional allowance into retirement.

And even then, Angela Merkel’s pension is considerable: From the offsetting pension entitlements from more than three decades, the Chancellor can probably calculate with a monthly salary of around 15,000 euros. There are also other privileges: lifelong entitlement to personal security and a company car with a driver. There is also an office in the premises of the Berlin Bundestag with office management, two speakers and a typist.

Angela Merkel after the 2021 federal election: pension or market economy?

In the past, the economic entanglements of Merkel’s predecessors caused discussions: Helmut Kohl (CDU) or Gerhard Schröder (SPD), for example, used political contacts after the end of their chancellorship to continue earning money in the free market economy. In the meantime, prior to such agreements, former members of the government have to ask the chancellor’s office whether their work “impairs public interests”. There is also an ethics committee that imposes a waiting period of 18 months in case of doubt.

Is Angela Merkel looking for a new job after leaving the Chancellery? She says she’s been too busy to think about it. After all, one thing seems certain: she doesn’t want to move to Hamburg – as has already been speculated. She will stay in Berlin and in the Uckermark, she announced. “From there it’s not far in thanks to the beautiful A20
my former constituency,” Merkel said, referring to Autobahn 20. Merkel was born in Hamburg, but her family moved from West Germany to East Germany and later moved to Templin.


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