Merkel dismisses speculation she could move to big European Union job

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron before a meeting with Western Balkans leaders at the Chancellery in Berlin Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron before a meeting with Western Balkans leaders at the Chancellery in Berlin Germany

Angela Merkel said on Thursday she would be unavailable for any further political office after serving out her fourth term as Germany's chancellor, dismissing speculation that she could take a big European Union job in Brussels.

In her two-step plan to leave politics, Merkel a year ago gave up the leadership of the Christian Democratic Union party, before stepping down as chancellor when her mandate runs out in 2021.

She said she would not take another political post, "no matter where it is" after she leaves the chancellery. She said it was up to "each and everyone of us to treat with care this unique structure that we call the European Union".

"Our political values differ in many areas and yet we have common interests", Merkel said in an interview with the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

"There is no doubt that Europe needs to reposition itself in a changed world", she said.

At a news conference later Thursday, Merkel said what she meant is that "it is right for me as German chancellor to strengthen, rather than not, my efforts to ensure a good, functioning Europe in view of the situations we have and in view of the polarisation".

But Merkel, 64 who has been German chancellor since 2005, stamped out the rumour firmly on Thursday.

The next election isn't due until late 2021.

In December, she then handed over the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to heir apparent Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

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