In her first interview appearance after the end of the chancellorship, Angela Merkel is at peace with herself and her politics. She sees no reason for an apology. Above all, she now only wants to be one thing: a citizen. Good this way!

Politics is by no means just the art of the possible, even if former Chancellor Angela Merkel has always claimed exactly this maxim for herself. Politics is always a feeling, an emotion, sometimes also notalgia. And that’s why the first question that almost everyone asked when Angela Merkel climbed onto a really big stage in Berlin months after her departure for the first time was: Did you actually miss her? Would we sleep better if she was navigating this war crisis with her well-known steady hand?

The short answer is no. That sounds brutal, almost unsentimental. So complete. But it’s appropriate, because Merkel, conversely, didn’t seem sentimental in the slightest, nor nostalgic either. She was calm. She has completed her chancellorship.

You don’t hear “mea culpa” from Angela Merkel

Because who would have thought that she would deliver a “mea culpa”, a justification for her Russia policy, which is currently under scrutiny, even start a fight for the current political classification or the first version of the story: None.

Merkel’s statements about Putin can be summarized as follows: she always warned against him, and she always tried honestly. “Diplomacy isn’t wrong just because it doesn’t work,” said Merkel, coming to a clear conclusion: she certainly won’t apologize.

Your statements are also absolutely correct – just like the objection that is being spread behind the scenes by Merkel’s people: that Corona is to blame for the fact that Putin slipped away from her. And yet, of course, it’s not the whole truth, because the real question is: Why did diplomacy with the Russian ruler slip so far, why didn’t it work? Were we all, including Merkel, naive, blue-eyed, even negligent? Not to mention the whole discussion about our dependence on Russian energy and the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which, according to earlier statements by Merkel, was always a purely economic matter.

But Merkel remained true to herself on stage. She hasn’t spoken in months. She now intends to write her political memoirs in peace. But she no longer wants to get involved in political combat. That is your right as a citizen. The star actor Ulrich Matthes, a close friend of Merkel, recently told the star that he doesn’t miss his girlfriend in the chancellery either. Matthes meant it in a friendly way, because he doesn’t begrudge her that she doesn’t have to bear any more responsibility. But he also said it was time for her to step down as chancellor. Since yesterday evening one can say with complete peace of mind: Yes, that’s the way it is. And that’s just as well. Also for us citizens, because as important as a look at history is: In this acute crisis we have to look straight ahead, not back. And therefore: Happy retirement, citizen Angela Merkel.