Home World The last day of his 16-year term in the parliamentary audience… Merkel’s ‘firsts’

The last day of his 16-year term in the parliamentary audience… Merkel’s ‘firsts’

by news dir

Former Chancellor Merkel sits in the audience and observes the newly inaugurated German Bundestag on the 26th, local time.  <Photo = Reuters capture>” src=”https://photo.jtbc.joins.com/news/jam_photo/202110/27/710f69ed-983a-4a6d-846d-602929b0c0dc.jpg”/><span class=Former Chancellor Merkel sits in the audience and observes the newly launched German Bundestag on the 26th, local time.

The new Bundestag was launched in Germany on the 26th local time. The new parliament has officially ended the 16-year tenure of former Chancellor Angela Merkel.

■ Merkel in the parliament stands… End of 16-year term

At the newly launched 20th parliament that day, former Chancellor Merkel watched the opening ceremony from afar sitting in the audience. He also lost his seat in the House of Representatives for the first time in 31 years because he did not run in the last general election. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Wolfgang Schauble, who also retired on the same day, greeted the Prime Minister, saying, “Welcome to the Prime Minister who is seated in an unusual place today.”

Former Chancellor Merkel gave a brief bow to the applauding lawmakers. Then, as usual, he put his hands together in a diamond shape and sat down in the audience. This gesture of not knowing what to do with her arm is her trademark.

Hours later, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented letters of resignation to former Chancellor Merkel and cabinet ministers. Merkel paid tribute to the former Chancellor, saying that “one of the greatest prime ministerial terms in the history of the German Republic has come to an end”. He expressed his gratitude for leading the country during the last four years of his term, which was particularly difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU), and former US President Donald Trump’s presidency.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presents letters of resignation to former Chancellor Merkel and cabinet ministers on the 26th, local time.[Photo = Reuters Yonhap News]

Fellow leaders from other countries also said warm farewells to Merkel’s last EU summit before she stepped down. The leaders of 26 member countries who attended the EU summit on the 22nd gave a standing ovation to former Chancellor Merkel just before discussing pending issues. “A summit without Merkel is like Rome without the Vatican, Paris without the Eiffel Tower,” said Charles Michel, president of the EU summit.

Leaders of member countries give a standing ovation to former German Chancellor Merkel during the EU summit held in Brussels, Belgium on the 22nd local time.Leaders of member countries give a standing ovation to former German Chancellor Merkel during the EU summit held in Brussels, Belgium on the 22nd local time.

On the same day, former US President Barack Obama also sent a video message to Merkel. “I had a role model that many people could look up to during difficult times, and I was one of those people I looked up to,” he said.

■ First Prime Minister to step down on his own

Former Chancellor Merkel was the first East German and female Chancellor in German history. Together with former Prime Minister Helmut Kohl, he served as prime minister for the longest period of 16 years. He is praised for successfully overcoming crises such as Greece’s European economic crisis and Brexit during his tenure. There were also opposing voices, but in 2015, it left the achievement of receiving a large number of refugees from Syria and other countries.

He did not run for the general election last month, despite high approval ratings just before his retirement. As a result, he became the first prime minister to resign himself and retire from politics, setting the record for the last time.

But it doesn’t go away right away. A new coalition government will be formed in the German parliament as early as early December and will serve as Chancellor until a new Prime Minister takes office. So, it is expected that Merkel will still be seen at the G20 Summit to be held in Italy on the 30th of this month and the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, UK.

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