The German Chancellor’s term will end in 2021 after it was announced Ms Merkel would not seek re-election. An insider said to a German magazine: “The Chancellor has been used to working hard for decades, but now she’s also looking forward to calmer times. “She is ready to leave the harsh political everyday life to her successors.”
Ms Merkel has suffered somewhat of a traumatic year in 2019.
Her mother, Hurling Kasner, died in April, and the Chancellor was noted to have three tremors in public, allegedly because of dehydration.
She is said to be exhausted by the constant stream of debates, state visits and 16-hour days which have begun to take their toll.
Described as “the most powerful woman in the world”, Ms Merkel is widely thought to be the pulling power behind the European Union, and the de facto leader.
She became chancellor in 2005, after leading the German Christian Democratic Union to success in the polls.
However, the Chancellor is rumoured to be already planning her retirement, and it seems it will focus on the pastimes the leader holds dear.
It is thought she plans to become an author.
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It is stated she wishes to take up gardening, go on relaxing walks, and attend the opera with her husband – a great passion the couple share.
They are regular attendees at the premieres of the Bayreuth Wagner Festival – an annual music festival celebrating 19th century composed Richard Wagner.
Joachim Sauer, 70, who Ms Merkel married in 1998, is currently a teacher at Berlin’s Humboldt University, but sources close to the couple expect he will leave the post so the couple can jointly retire.
The pair live in Berlin, and can sometimes be spotted by the locals enjoying food in upmarket restaurants.
However, they also have a holiday home in Hohenwalde, a more remote district which serves as the Chancellor’s safe space.
Someone close to the couple stated, “The Chancellor likes to retreat there, for example if she wants to read a book in peace.”
It has also been rumoured that the Chancellor and her husband will return to South Tyrol, Italy, which includes part of the Dolomites range.
Ms Merkel and her husband are keen hikers, and enjoy visiting the region whenever they can.
Leaving the turbulence of political life behind her, Ms Merkel is expected to step entirely away from the world stage and enjoy her later years.
For now, though, her definite plans are kept firmly under wraps.