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german chancellor


German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered two shaking attacks in eight days, but she says she is “fine” after the two public episodes have sparked concerns about her health.

Speaking at the G20 summit in Osaka, Angela Merkel said she was convinced that “this reaction will disappear just as it has arisen”, German news agency DPA said.

Asked what lay behind it and whether she had seen a doctor, Angela Merkel said she had “nothing in particular to report”.

On June 27, the German chancellor was seen shaking for two minutes at a ceremony in Berlin.

Angela Merkel, who turns 65 next month, gripped her arms until she became steadier. She was offered a glass of water but did not drink it.

The previous incident – which she later blamed on dehydration – saw her shaking while standing next to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in hot sunshine.

In 2017, Angela Merkel had an earlier bout of shaking in hot weather on a visit to Mexico as she was attending a military honors ceremony.

Reports said that subsequent medical checks had found nothing to be wrong.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted a video of the chancellor making a speech covering topics such as extremism, women’s empowerment and climate change. It showed her standing and speaking in a relaxed manner.

Angela Merkel is now in her fourth term as chancellor, a role she began in November 2005. She has said she will leave politics when her current term ends in 2021.

She has a reputation for remarkable stamina – during intensive late-night discussions at EU summits, for example.

Angela has been in good health while in office, and even worked from home after a knee operation in 2011. She suffered a fall while skiing in 2014. Her absences were only brief on those occasions. Her mother died earlier this year.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced she will step down in 2021, following recent election setbacks.

She told a news conference in Berlin: “I will not be seeking any political post after my term ends.”

Angela Merkel also said she would not seek re-election as leader of the center-right CDU party in December. She has held the post since 2000.

The CDU was severely weakened in October 28 poll in the state of Hesse, the latest in a series of setbacks.

Both the CDU and its national coalition partners, the Social Democrats, were 10 percentage points down on the previous poll there.

The election comes just weeks after Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the CSU, suffered huge losses in a state parliament vote.

Parties like the left-leaning Greens and the far-right, anti-immigration AfD have grown in national support following the 2017 general election, as backing for the major centre parties has waned.

Image source Wikimedia

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Angela Merkel said she took “full responsibility” for poor performance.

She said: “As chancellor and leader of the CDU I’m politically responsible for everything, for successes and for failures.

“When people are telling us what they think of how the government was formed and what they think of our work during the first seven months of this parliament… then it is a clear signal that things can’t carry on as they are.

“The time has come to open a new chapter.”

Angela Merkel also made it clear she would not handpick her successor as party leader and would “accept any democratic decision taken by my party”.

However, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer would be the obvious choice for Merkel loyalists to replace her. She is currently the party secretary.

Health Minister Jens Spahn, a leading critic of Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policies, has also announced his candidacy.

Friedrich Merz, a former leader of the CDU-CSU parliamentary group and an old rival to Angela Merkel, has thrown his hat into the ring.

Angela Merkel’s CDU plunged 11 percentage points to 27% in October 28 elections in the central state of Hesse, according to preliminary results. This was the CDU’s worst showing in the state since 1966.

The SPD, which is in coalition with the CDU nationally, fell by a similar amount to 19.8%.

The main beneficiaries were the Greens, who paradoxically share power with the CDU in the state and have now drawn level with the SPD, and the far-right AfD, who rose to 13%.

The Hesse vote follows a pattern of losses for the two main parties, with the AfD doing particularly well in eastern states.

Two weeks ago, the CDU’s Bavarian ally, the CSU, lost its absolute majority in the state’s parliament which it has dominated since 1957. Like in Hesse, the SPD also lost badly and the Greens and AfD surged.

While the Greens appear to have benefited from the SPD’s slump in support, it seems clear that the centre-right has lost voters to the AfD.

Part of the reason could be anger at Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to large numbers of refugees, a move which the AfD has vehemently opposed.

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has died at the age of 87.

He was the architect of Germany’s reunification in 1990.

Helmut Kohl led Germany from 1982 to 1998. He is credited with bringing East and West Germany together after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Together with his French ally President Francois Mitterrand, Helmut Kohl was responsible for the introduction of the euro.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has ordered flags at EU institutions to be flown at half-mast.

Jean-Claude Juncker said in a tweet: “Helmut’s death hurts me deeply.

“My mentor, my friend, the very essence of Europe, he will be greatly, greatly missed.”

Image source Wikimedia

Former President George H.W. Bush paid tribute to the man he knew while in office from 1989 to 1993 as a “true friend of freedom” and “one of the greatest leaders in post-war Europe”.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel paid tribute to a “great German statesman and above all a great European”.

Helmut Kohl suffered a bad fall in 2008 and had been using a wheelchair.

According to Bild newspaper, Helmut Kohl died at his house in Ludwigshafen, in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Helmut Kohl, who led the center-right Christian Democrats, was the longest-serving chancellor of the 20th Century.

A passionate believer in European integration, he persuaded Germans to give up their cherished deutschmark in favor of euro.

Helmut Kohl fell from grace when a funding scandal under his leadership of the Christian Democrats came to light after he left office in 1998.

Current Chancellor Angela Merkel was once Helmut Kohl’s protégée, first entering government under his rule in 1991.

Angela Merkel publicly denounced Helmut Kohl and called for his resignation when it was revealed the party had received millions of dollars worth of illegal donations using secret bank accounts.

In 2011, in a series of interviews and statements, Helmut Kohl spoke out against Angela Merkel’s policy of strict austerity to deal with the European debt crisis.

German ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt has died at the age of 96, his office says.

He served as West German Chancellor from 1974 to 1982.

Helmut Schmidt, who was a Social Democrat, was an architect of the European Monetary System, which linked EU currencies and was a key step on the path to the euro.

He was credited with helping to consolidate the country’s post-war economic boom.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Helmut Schmidt is seen as one of the most popular German leaders since WWII.

He died on November 10 in Hamburg, his doctor Heiner Greten was quoted as saying by German media.

The doctor provided no further details.

By 1972, Helmut Schmidt was finance minister in the government of Willy Brandt, a brilliant manager of the economic miracle. Two years later he himself was chancellor.


Helmut Kohl has won a legal battle to keep 200 tapes recording his political life.

A court in Cologne ruled against Helmut Kohl’s former ghost-writer, Heribert Schwan, who claimed copyright ownership of the tapes.

Helmut Kohl was Germany’s chancellor when the Cold War ended and he played a key role in German reunification in 1990.

The tapes, recorded in 2001, formed the basis of Helmut Kohl’s memoirs. They do not chronicle a big party funding scandal.

Heribert Schwan, a journalist, recorded a total of 630 hours with the former chancellor and published three volumes covering Helmut Kohl’s life and political career from 1930 to 1994.

Helmut Kohl has won a legal battle to keep 200 tapes recording his political life

Helmut Kohl has won a legal battle to keep 200 tapes recording his political life

But before the final volume could be finished the two men fell out, after Heribert Schwan released a book about Helmut Kohl’s first wife, Hannelore. As a result, Helmut Kohl’s memoirs detailing the last four years of his political career, until he lost power in 1998, have never been published.

This is a seen as a crucial period, because of the financing scandal which rocked his centre-right Christian Democrat (CDU) party, scarring its reputation for years.

The slush fund scandal was uncovered in 1999, when it was revealed that through the 1990s the CDU had received donations illegally under Helmut Kohl’s leadership. Secret bank accounts and illegal wire transfers from foreign banks had boosted CDU coffers.

Amid the public outrage, the party’s leaders were forced to step down, allowing Angela Merkel to take over as CDU leader. In 2005 she became Germany’s first female chancellor.

The tapes are valuable also because Helmut Kohl now has difficulties speaking, after a stroke and accident six years ago.

Helmut Kohl was modern Germany’s longest-serving chancellor, with a 16-year tenure, which coincided with the peaceful end of the Cold War.

His memories of that turbulent period in German history are viewed as historically crucial source material.

Although the judge ruled in favor of Helmut Kohl there was also an indirect criticism of him. In the judge’s view, the tapes are too important to be stored in someone’s cellar, but rather should be stored safely in a public archive.