Germany’s Chancellor-designate, Angela Merkel holds talks with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg on the eve of taking up the reins of power.
Jean-Claude Juncker was one of the first European leaders to welcome the imminent handover, describing Merkel as no novice to EU politics.
The 51 year old pastor’s daughter will be sworn in as Germany’s first woman Chancellor, after a parliamentay vote expected to back the new coalition government later today.
Although it has taken a month of tough talking between the conservative Christian Democrats and the centre-left Social Democrats to form the so-called “Grand Coalition”, the majority of Germans do not think Merkel will last the full four-year term.
Something which is not lost on the out going Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as he summed up his time at the helm in a farewell speech to his party faithful:
“Seven good years, for the republic, for us, for our party.They were by no means flawless, how could they be? But overall it was seven years that look good.”- Schroeder.
Past and present party chiefs applauded Schroeder who is withdrawing from political life to return to his legal roots.
But while the last moments of the Schroeder era come to an end, the first drafts of history on his term in office are probabley already being written.