German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, 17 November 2014 (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Angela Merkel had already been Chancellor for about six months when I commenced as Australian Ambassador to Germany in April 2006. Her tenure as Germany’s head of government has seen four further Australian heads of mission take up residence in Berlin, and the Australian prime ministership change hands seven times. Her term doesn’t actually finish with the weekend’s elections – the coalition building process could take weeks or even months, and she will continue on in the meantime. But the end is finally in view. Her retirement will require some adjustment for Germans themselves – particularly those in their early twenties or younger who have no memory of any other national leader. The international community will also need to adapt. Australia will join a long queue of countries seeking to establish a productive relationship with her successor.
Dankeschön Frau Merkel | The Interpreter (lowyinstitute.org)