Merkel’s move: From the Chancellery to “Margot Honecker’s office”

Status: 07.12.2021 6:19 p.m.

Angela Merkel will reside in the Chancellery until tomorrow. Then she moves into premises with a long history. During her last appearance in front of the Union faction, she revealed a few details about her move.

She sat in the Bundestag for more than 30 years and in the Chancellery for 16 years. Tomorrow is definitely the end for Angela Merkel. Today she said goodbye to the Union faction – and at the same time calmed the mind. She will not just disappear, but move into her new domicile very close to the Chancellery and Bundestag: “Margot Honecker’s office” in the street Unter den Linden, Merkel reported after media information from participants in a video link of the Union parliamentary group.

Merkel’s future workplace is a place with a past, and not just because of the then GDR minister of education, Honecker. It was also the office of Helmut Kohl during his time as former chancellor – the man who once called Merkel “my girl” and from whom she distanced herself sharply in the course of the party donation affair. Merkel gets the office for the “settlement of ongoing obligations”. As a former head of government, she is entitled to it for life.

“Be wise!”

Merkel reported that the first pieces of furniture had already arrived in her new office. In addition to the Adenauer picture, a “lady” chess piece had already moved from her office in the Chancellery to the “Honecker office”, it said.

Merkel advised the parliamentary group one thing in particular: “Be wise!” She will continue to be available for questions, but will not give advice publicly. “The CDU must continue to take care of the major future tasks,” said Merkel accordingly, referring to climate protection. For them, 30 years of membership in the Bundestag is now coming to an end, said Merkel. “I didn’t make up the crises and bring them with me to the parliamentary group.” The crises would remain “if I am no longer Chancellor”. But she is happy when you can see each other in spring and celebrate the farewell.

Brinkhaus: Merkel “shaped an era”

Union faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus had publicly recognized Merkel for her 16 years as head of government before the meeting. Merkel “shaped an era. She is in line with Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl,” he said. It was the Chancellor’s last official parliamentary group meeting – but not the farewell. That will be made up for in the spring if you don’t have to wear masks because of the corona pandemic, as is now the case.

Merkel has shaped a style that is highly recognized worldwide, which was not designed to ensure that there are winners and losers, but rather that both sides can go straight out of the negotiations, said Brinkhaus. This connection has been good for the world and especially Europe in the past 16 years.

Also farewell to Altmaier

Brinkhaus also said goodbye to the Managing Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier. Although he had been criticized at one point or another, he had achieved incredible things in many functions and especially as head of the Chancellery. The Saarlander was an incredibly popular and collegial colleague. Altmaier had given up his mandate in favor of a younger member of parliament.

The start of the traffic light government made up of the SPD, Greens and FDP this Wednesday is a new beginning, said Brinkhaus. “We sincerely wish the new federal government all the best. We wish that it is successful and good for the country.” It is about politics being good for the country and not about who is doing it. The Union faction will critically accompany the government, but will not look for a fly in the ointment.

Moving to the Chancellor’s office

Milena Pieper, ARD Berlin, 7.12.2021 · 17:03

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