He worked with her for a long time and has known her for many years: In an interview, Edmund Stoiber looks back on Angela Merkel’s 16 years of service.
Munich – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) leaves the big stage this Wednesday. Reason enough to look back on turbulent years with the former CSU boss and Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber. He has known her since 1989.
Mr. Stoiber, did you write to Ms. Merkel to say goodbye?
Not yet. But of course I’ll still do that when things get a little quieter for them. Where: I recently referred to your farewell in a few handwritten lines in response to your very personal letter on my 80th birthday.
What did you write
She was a couple of times in Wolfratshausen and invited me to her home in Templin. At that time she said to me: We cover all of Germany. She came from the high Protestant north, I came from the Catholic south. Due to a lack of time, however, a visit never worked. It was probably me. I would like to make up for that.
How close was your contact recently?
We worked very closely together for many years – of course, when I left it became less. A Chancellor who has so much on her mind must divide her time carefully. But occasionally we wrote to each other.
What do you wish her now?
Bless you. And I’m not just saying that. The office of Federal Chancellor is extremely demanding – with all the national and international appointments and stressful situations. Even compared to the Schröder period, the requirement has increased again. Now she can cut back on this overcrowded daily routine. I wish her that she can do it well.
Stoiber: “I only knew her when she was minister for the environment and women”
You also know an overcrowded appointment calendar. When that ends, is that burdensome? Or do you fall into a hole?
Neither nor. I have never seen my position as a burden, and neither has Angela Merkel. I myself had a lot to do in the years after I left – in Brussels, in various committees, at FC Bayern. You don’t fall into a hole. To this day I have an office to organize that. This interview with you too (laughs).
There was criticism because Ms. Merkel will also be given an office and a staff.
A former chancellor who, like Adenauer or Kohl, was so influential in Germany for so long, needs it. Gerhard Schröder has it too, although he has his job as chairman of the supervisory board of Rosneft. In the case of Ms. Merkel, however, I think it is out of the question that she would take on such a well-paid job.
You have known her for a long time. Would you have thought that one day she would remain Chancellor for 16 years?
I can remember an early incident. As CDU chairman, Wolfgang Schäuble originally wanted to make Annette Schavan general secretary, but then decided on Ms. Merkel. I then asked: “Can she do that? In this breadth of topics? ”I only knew her as Minister for the Environment and Women’s Affairs. And Schäuble replied: “Yes, she can do that.” He was right. (laughs)
Stoiber about Merkel: “She is a completely unpretentious, unpretentious woman”
What is it that makes them stand out?
She is a completely unpretentious, unpretentious woman. She considered herself the first servant of the state. For her it was always about the thing, not about her person. Politically, emotions did not play a major role for her, as has now been seen again in the Zapfenstreich. This species has done the country good, even if many people might have wished for a little more passion. She actually only showed emotions in public when she was sitting on the football stand of the national team.
Was the nickname “mom” disrespectful?
No not at all. On the contrary: It expresses that she never intervenes with the steam hammer, but always remains calm and matter-of-fact even with major problems.
Is there an anecdote that comes to mind right away?
When she was elected CDU chairman at the Essen party conference in 2000, I brought her boxing gloves as a gift. She thanked me warmly and then said to me that she did not necessarily intend to use it. In retrospect, that was probably not the very best idea that the state management had come up with. (laughs)
“There were difficult moments, for example when the dispute over the head lump sum”
And then of course there is the Wolfratshauser breakfast. . .
She was with me a few times before she became chancellor. At that time we were still by you. After the “famous” Wolfratshauser breakfast we went for a walk along the Loisach. One of your colleagues from the local editorial team came towards us, but he did not see through the situation straight away. I think he was very annoyed about the missed opportunity later.
Their relationship was very changeable. Take refugee or health policy.
Yes. There were difficult moments, for example during the dispute over the head lump sum, when Horst Seehofer wanted to give up everything. But in the end we kept pulling ourselves together.
Interview: Mike Schier – * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
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