What will Merkel do next?

After 16 years in charge of Europe’s largest economy, the first thing Angela Merkel wanted to do after retiring from politics was to “take a nap.” What happened after that?

After transferring power to his successor Olaf Scholz on December 8, the senior chancellor has been tight-lipped about what she is going to do.

During her four terms, the 67-year-old Merkel was often described as the most powerful woman in the world-but she recently hinted that she would not miss taking power.

“I will soon understand that now all of this is the responsibility of others. I think I will like this situation very much,” she said during a trip to Washington this summer.

Merkel is known for her endurance and ability to stay alive after overnight meetings. She once said that she can store sleep like a camel stores water.

But when asked about her retirement in Washington, she replied: “Maybe I will try to read something, and then my eyes will start to close because of tiredness, so I will take a nap, and then we will see me appear place.”

-‘Let’s wait and see’-

First elected as an MP in 1990, just after German reunification, Merkel recently suggested she had never had time to stop and reflect on what else she might like to do.

“I have never had a normal working day… I naturally no longer ask myself what interests me the most besides politics,” she told the audience in a joint interview with Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

“I’m 67 years old and I have run out of time. This means I have to carefully consider what I want to do in the next phase,” she said.

“I want to write, I want to talk, I want to hike, I want to stay home, do I want to see the world? I decided to do nothing and see what happens.”

Merkel’s predecessors did not remain silent for long. Helmut Schmidt left the Chancellery in 1982 to become the co-editor of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and a popular commentator on political life.

Helmut Kohl founded his own consulting company, Gerhard Schroeder became a lobbyist, and his position as chairman of the board of directors of the Russian oil giant Rosneft was controversial.

German writer David Safier envisioned an even stranger future for Merkel. He wrote a crime novel called Miss Merkel and saw that she was tempted to investigate a mysterious murder after she retired.

-Growing vegetables-

Merkel may wish to spend more time with her husband Joachim Sauer in Hohenwald. She grew up near Templin in the former East Germany, where she had a holiday house, which she could do when she was tired. retreat.

Her possible leisure activities include growing vegetables, especially potatoes, and she told Bunte Magazine in an interview in 2013 that she likes to do it.

As we all know, she is a fan of the volcanic island of D’Ischia, especially the remote seaside village of Sant’Angelo.

Merkel was photographed in a smartphone video this week browsing shoes in a sportswear store in Berlin, and people speculated that she might be planning some active activities.

Or, the former scientist can start a lecture tour from Seoul to Tel Aviv, the countless universities that awarded her honorary doctorates.

According to calculations by the German Taxpayers Association, Merkel will receive a pension of approximately 15,000 Euros (16,900 USD) per month after retirement.

But she was never a prodigal person, living in a fourth-floor apartment in Berlin and often buying groceries by herself.

In 2014, after the bilateral meeting, she even took Premier Li Keqiang to her favorite Berlin supermarket.

So maybe she will simply spend some quiet evenings, sipping her beloved white wine, and cooking what she once declared as her favorite dish, “very good potato soup.”

bur-fec / hmn / har

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