She will need to behave as a truly European leader and not just as the Chancellor of Germany, says Philippe Lamberts, head of Greens-European Free Alliance. Nevertheless, a fourth term would provide some sort of stability, Lamberts added.
The German chancellor moved to the northeastern town of Templin as a child and spent her adolescence there. Family members still live in the town and she spends much of her free time in her weekend home nearby.
Angela Merkel has announced she is closing down her Facebook page as she is no longer the CDU party leader. She thanked her followers, bid farewell, and said those interested could still follow her work.
In a bid to fend off inroads from left- and right-wing parties, Germany's more centrist governing CDU and SPD are seeking to redefine their political values. It's a risky move, says DW's Fabian von der Mark.
He had aimed to be chancellor, then CDU party leader, then a Cabinet minister. Now Friedrich Merz will serve on a party council to advise Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on economic and trans-Atlantic issues.
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