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DW: Farewell, Frau Merkel – Foreign correspondents and the German Chancellor

28/09/2021

Premiered Sep 28,2021

She’s one of the world’s most powerful women. But, after deciding to give up office, Angela Merkel will soon leave her leading position in German and international politics. Foreign correspondents look back on Merkel’s 16 years as chancellor. Eight correspondents from eight nations look back — including Pascal Thibaut of France, US journalist Patrick Donahue and Jun Nojima of Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, who considers Angela Merkel a guardian of Western democracy. Others warn against exaggerating Merkel’s influence. What they all have in common is that they have followed the chancellor for years, even to the produce section of her local supermarket. The fact that, as one of the world’s most powerful women, Merkel sometimes does the shopping herself, probably says a lot about her personality. A report by Robert Richter. Germany’s Chancellor for 16 years. In that time, she has steered the country through countless international crises, frequently crossing swords with other world leaders.

How did Angela Merkel master these challenges as she traveled almost tirelessly from one state visit or international summit to the next? Where did she manage to persuade others, and where did she fail? Did she have a clear political course? Was she simply pragmatic, or was what we witnessed also the product of indecision? How did she position Germany in a world where the USA, Europe, Russia and China are vying for global clout? And how do the heads of state and government whom Angela Merkel has met over the years rate her and her policies? What do international politicians appreciate about her, and where do they find fault?

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