Der Spiegel: German Chancellor Merkel considers stepping down

According to an article of the German Der Spiegel magazine, which cites senior officials of the German government and the Christian Democratic party, Angela Merkel will be the first chancellor since 1949 to leave office on her own accord.

Such a move would come as a major shock in her country, where Mrs Merkel remains exceptionally popular with voters and it would certainly affect Europe, where she is considered the continent’s most powerful leader.

The article alleges that the first female Chancellor of Germany doesn’t want to complete her third term and she is planning to resign before the elections due in 2017, as she is interested in a new role as UN Secretary-General or President of the European Council. It should be noted that both roles will become available in 2016-2017.

Angela Merkel, Der Spiegel claims, wants to avoid following in the footsteps of former chancellors, and suffer a humiliating defeat in the elections or be forced out by a coup within her own party.

If Mrs Merkel does resign as German chancellor, her successor is expected to be Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to serve as German defence minister.

However, the chancellor herself dispelled the claims in a television interview on Saturday. “I plan to work through the term as chancellor and then we will see,” Angela Merkel underlined.