- Title: Merkel expected to say she will seek fourth term as German chancellor
- Date: 20th November 2016
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 18, 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND AUTHOR OF THE 'ANGELA MERKEL LEXICON', ANDREAS RINKE, SAYING: "I think she's considered by her allies in Germany and abroad to be a very stable factor in the world. It's clear what she stands for, a lot of her really strong partners are actually getting out of office - Barack Obama is one example, Francois Hollande might be the next, and I think it depends very much who is winning the next French election. If it will be Marine le Pen, Merkel will have a very tough time in a fourth term as chancellor because she is losing her closest partner." BERLIN, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 17, 2016) (REUTERS) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL GREETING U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT CHANCELLERY BERLIN, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 18, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND AUTHOR OF THE 'ANGELA MERKEL LEXICON', ANDREAS RINKE, SAYING: "She will also have a tough time if Trump sticks to the promises he made in his campaign and is not changing into a politician who, from a European perspective, will be more reasonable and modest."
- Embargoed: 5th December 2016 09:48
- Keywords: Angela Merkel background fourth term Germany chancellor popularity election
- Location: BERLIN / BONN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN / BONN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA004598ZY9Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Chancellor Angela Merkel has called a news conference for 1800 GMT on Sunday (November 20), a sign interpreted by politicians and the media that she has made up her mind to seek a fourth term as the conservative candidate in the 2017 federal election.
Merkel, in power since 2005, has said she would announce her decision at the appropriate moment.
The pragmatist, 62-year-old Merkel has steered Europe through the euro zone crisis and the biggest influx of migrants to the continent since World War Two.
Even though her popularity has dipped following the influx of some 900,000 migrants last year, a poll earlier this month showed more than half of Germans want her to run for a fourth term.
"Her ratings have dropped during the refugee crisis, that's true, but they are astonishingly high if you see the 11 years, because normally after four, five or eight years politicians are not liked anymore," said Andreas Rinke, Reuters chief political correspondent and author of the "Angela Merkel Lexicon".
He added that Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and Bavarian sister party the CSU still believe Merkel is the best candidate to lead them to victory in the 2017 election.
One of Merkel's biggest challenges, if she wins another term, will be managing relations with the United States under Donald Trump, who has challenged her views on everything from free trade to Russian aggression to immigration.
U.S. President Barack Obama told a joint news conference with Merkel on Thursday (November 17) that Merkel faced "big burdens" if she chose to continue, but called her an "outstanding" and "tough" leader who had mastered previous challenges.
Obama said he valued the chancellor's integrity, honesty and that she might get his support if he were a German citizen.
"I think she's considered by her allies in Germany and abroad to be a very stable factor in the world. It's clear what she stands for," Rinke said.
A pastor's daughter who grew up in communist East Germany, Merkel has proven a survivor in her 11 years in office.
"She knows the rules, she has a lot of experience, and apart from (Russia's Vladimir) Putin she is actually the world leader who is the longest in power, so I think these connections and this experience might help her," Rinke said.
By running again, Merkel gives herself a chance of matching the 16 years in office notched up by her mentor, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. However, it is unclear whether - if she remains chancellor - she would serve a full fourth term.
Merkel was ruthless towards Kohl, saying in the midst of a party funding scandal in 1999 it was time to move on without him.
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