Longtime German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Step Down in 2021

Germany's Angela Merkel 'the president of Europe,' says she won't seek reelection as chancellor

"Whether Merkel will really govern as chancellor until 2021 and then leave politics as promised, or whether the events would suddenly become uncontrollable for her, is no longer up to her alone", said news weekly Der Spiegel. "At the federal election in 2021, I will not stand", she added.

Diko said the president "will this evening conclude his working visit by attending a working dinner hosted by Chancellor Merkel in honour of all Heads of State/Government and Chairpersons of International Organisations, before departing Berlin for the Republic of South Africa".

Oettinger said that she enjoys trust "from Sophia to Lisbon, from Dublin to Athens".

Many political experts say the strains of domestic politics have kept Merkel from moving forward more briskly on a slate of European reforms proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

"Will it be Merkel's protegé Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, or rather someone from the party's more conservative wing, such as Health Minister Jens Spahn?".

Her decision followed two state elections in Bavaria and Hesse where the parties in Merkel's governing coalition suffered heavy losses, a result partly blamed on infighting between the CDU and its Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) sister party.

While the "rise of the right" has made itself felt from Europe to the U.S. and, this week, in Brazil, that is a gross over-simplification of the challenges that Merkel has faced. Her exit as Chancellor is predicted to be just like her 13-year-long reign: dragged out. This was the party's worst showing in the state since 1966.

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While we already knew she intended this to be her last adventure as Chancellor, now she will have to contend with growing opposition from within her own ranks, as the CDU seeks to throw her overboard and appoint a new captain.

Meanwhile, the progressive center-left social democrats and anti-capitalist left-wing to far-left still hold power in the form of coalitions mostly in Iberia such as Portugal and Spain.

The move sets in motion the process for the CDU to settle on and groom Merkel's successor. The problem is that he doesn't sit in the Bundestag anymore, which could make it more hard for him to use the party leadership as a springboard to the chancellery.

The European Commission president spoke to Merkel, a political ally since the 1990s, on Monday evening following her announcements.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday urged companies to take a closer look at Africa's "huge" economic opportunities, as Germany hopes that development of the continent will help curb illegal migration to Europe. The SPD will review by autumn 2019 "whether this government is still the right place for us", party chief Andrea Nahles said.

"The problem for all the European leaders is the European election for May of next year", he said.

That not only has symbolic value - a strong showing in Europe-wide balloting can serve as a springboard to success in elections in home countries - but also would give new parties some policy clout, he said.

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