Well-Wishers Congratulate Merkel | Current Affairs | DW | 22.11.2005
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Current Affairs

Well-Wishers Congratulate Merkel

Heads of state and business representatives alike sent congratulations to Germany's newly-inaugurated Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Putin and Merkel talked business when they met earlier this year

Putin and Merkel talked business when they met earlier this year

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Jacques Chirac were just two of the European powers who publicly congratulated Angela Merkel on taking the reins of German government.

Putin told news agencies he hoped for a strategic strengthening of ties between the two countries and invited Merkel to visit the Kremlin after she has settled into office. Putin, who speaks fluent German, was known to be friendly with Merkel's predecessor, Gerhard Schröder.

Bildergalerie Gerhard Schröder 6

Chirac and Schröder were close allies

Another well-wisher and Schröder pal was France's Chirac, who called for Germany and France to "give the European Union a new impulse. On Wednesday, Chirac will greet Merkel on heir first state visit, to Paris.

Along with his congratulations, Chirac referred to French-German relations as "exemplary." Both countries want to continue working toward creating a "fair and safe world," he said.

"We look forward to working closely with Chancellor Merkel and the new government to strengthen the US-German partnership in advancing freedom and prosperity around the world," said Kate Starr, a spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council.

"We look forward to an early meeting between the two leaders," Starr said, adding that nothing has been scheduled yet.

Businesses, farmers, send their best

From Madrid, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero used the conventional congratulatory moment to stress the "tight, strategic" friendship between the two countries. Zapatero said he looked forward to meeting with the new chancellor at an EU-Mediterranean summit meeting slated for Nov. 27 and 28.

Logo Deutsche Autos

German carmakers support reform

Congratulations also came from within the country, especially from business leaders, who called for necessary economic reform. The president of the German Automobile Industry Association, Bernd Gottschalk, said German carmakers are one of the country's "key industries," that would be a "reliable partner in instituting reforms for more growth and jobs."

Church sends blessings

Interest groups representing German savings banks, retail associations, chambers of commerce, and farmers took the inauguration as a chance to both wish Merkel well, and promote their agendas with the incoming government.

Finally, not only business and politics, German churches gave Merkel their blessings. The chancellor herself elicited comments in the press after she used the optional phrase, "So help me God" at the end of her swearing-in ceremony.

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