Interview with former Chancellor: “I’m free now,” says Angela Merkel about her new life

Germany Former chancellor in conversation

“I’m free now,” Angela Merkel says of her new life

Merkel defends Nord Stream 2 decision

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her decisions to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea. “I didn’t believe in change through trade, but in connection through trade,” Merkel told Germany.

Angela Merkel is balancing. In an extensive interview, she admits that she has not been able to do anything with Vladimir Putin recently. But she doesn’t blame herself, especially since cheap gas from Russia has benefited the economy. And he has plans for the future.

DIn the interview, former Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in detail about her recent months in office and the current conflicts with Russia, while expressing the joy of her new role as a private person.

“I was pretty exhausted,” Merkel told reporters from the German news network (RND / Saturday). But it was not a “half-dead wreck.” Already in 1998, she stated that she never wanted to end like this.

But now he’s in a new phase of life: “I’m free now.” That’s a nice feeling. “I indulge in it because I think I’ve been doing it long enough.” But it’s still “unusual” not to put pressure on deadlines. Ten days earlier, for the first time after leaving the Chancellery, Merkel had answered questions from a journalist at the Berliner Ensemble.

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Merkel defended her decisions to build the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from the Baltic Sea to Russia. “I did not believe in change through trade, but in connection through trade, with the second largest nuclear power in the world,” said a CDU politician who was chancellor from 2005 to 2021. But it was not an easy decision. “The thesis at the time was that once Nord Stream 2 is up and running, Putin will stop supplying gas through Ukraine or even attack it.”

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However, the West has ensured that gas continues to flow through Ukraine. At that time, however, the German economy decided to transport gas from Russia, because it was economically cheaper than obtaining liquefied gas from Arab countries or later from the United States.

The “most emotional phase” was the refugee crisis

Merkel admitted that her influence on Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin was waning shortly before she left office. “It was clear that I would not be in office for a long time, so I simply have to say that the various attempts over the last year have had no effect,” she told RND.

Putin was no longer willing to hold a summit in the so-called Norman format with representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France. “On the other hand, I have not been able to create an additional European-Russian discussion format on the European Security Code in addition to the Normand format.” On February 24, Russia attacked neighboring Ukraine.

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Looking back, Merkel stressed that the “most emotional phase” in office was the refugee crisis. “2015/2016 was an extremely stressful period, but I was very strong inside.” Her actions were in line with C on behalf of her party and Article One of the Basic Law. C in CDU means Christian. Article 1 of the Basic Law obliges us to protect human dignity and contains a commitment to respect for human rights.

When many refugees, mainly Syrians, came to Germany via Hungary and Austria at the end of summer 2015, Merkel decided not to close the German border. One of her most famous sentences at the time was, “We can do it.” Merkel’s decision was controversial within the Union, but also in society.

Why she deliberately avoided mentioning East Germany

Merkel is of East German descent and grew up in East Germany. However, during her office as chancellor, she largely avoided mentioning it too much. But now he wants to get to know West Germany better in his new phase of life. “I have rarely been aimless in the old Länder,” the former chancellor said. “I’ve never just been in the Loreley or Moselle loop or alone in Trier or Speyer Cathedral.”

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Former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU)

There was simply not enough time for her worries during her chancellor’s office – even Merkel admitted to mourning her mother, who died in April 2019 a few days before the EU summit. “It is part of 24/7 availability. When there is an EU Council, there is an EU Council. When it’s a night session, it’s a night session. If I don’t lie in bed with a fever at 40, I’ll go to the EU Council. “

That was her understanding of office. But she also considered her more than 30-year political era a great honor. As already announced, he will now write a book about this and about his childhood and youth in the GDR with his long-standing office Beate Baumann.

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