SHE has destroyed Kohl’s Europe
The fall of the Wall did not break her sauna routine, but the end of the Cold War marked the beginning of her political career. Merkel, 35, joined the center-right activist movement Demokratischer Aufbruch (“Democratic Awakening.“) Her first job was to unpack boxes of new computers and set them up in the office.
1990: Baggy skirts and Jesus sandals
In 1990, the Democratic Awakening merged with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in East Germany (which would later merge with its West German counterpart) and Merkel moved on to become the deputy spokesperson of the German Democratic Republic government under Lothar de Maizière.
Angela Merkel and Lothar de Maizière in 1990 | Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-0803-017 / Settnik, Bernd / CC-BY-SA 3.0
The first and last elected GDR prime minister said Merkel’s appearance was completely unremarkable. “She didn’t seem to care about her outward appearance at all,” said de Maizière. “She looked like a typical GDR scientist, wearing a baggy skirt and Jesus sandals and a cropped haircut.”
Angela Merkel looks into the past: A photo of the German chancellor dating from 1990 | Peer Grimm/EPA
De Maizière even asked his office manager to take her out to buy clothes.
That same year, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag in reunified Germany’s first general election.
1991: Cabinet minister
Helmut Kohl, who would later reportedly accuse Merkel of “destroying his Europe,” was now her political mentor. The reunification chancellor referred to her as “mein Mädchen” (“my girl”). Merkel made her debut in his government as federal minister for women and youth.
Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel in 1991 | Michael Jung/EPA
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s euro woes plunged to new and uncharted depths yesterday, amid disclosures that her former mentor Helmut Kohl had accused her of “ruining” the Europe he had helped to create and of pursuing single currency policies which he called “very dangerous”.
The former conservative “unification Chancellor’s” acidic broadside against the woman he helped to become Germany’s first female leader, was a telling indication of the extent to which his successor’s popularity has nose-dived since the euro crisis began.
At home Ms Merkel is widely accused by the public and the press of squandering millions in taxpayer’s money to bail out “failed” eurozone countries.
In Europe, she is under attack for failing to take a lead over the euro crisis. Within her own Christian Democratic party, she is charged with destroying the conservatives’ commitment to the European ideal.
Mr Kohl’s criticism appeared designed to inflict maximum damage as it came only days before Thursday’s meeting of European leaders which will attempt to hammer out a deal on solving the Greek crisis. Several Christian Democrats have called for Greece’s debts to be rescheduled and warned that the entire euro project is endangered.
According to Der Spiegel magazine, Mr Kohl made his critical comments to an unidentified political colleague, who had been visiting him. “She is ruining my Europe,” Mr Kohl was quoted as saying about his protégée.
Tagsactivist movement Demokratischer Aufbruch (“Democratic Awakening.“) Baggy skirts and Jesus sandals end of the Cold War Merkel against Kohl`s Europe skirt and Jesus sandals and a cropped haircut.” “destroying his Europe ” was now her political mentor. The reunification chancellor referred to her as “mein Mädchen” (“my girl”). Merkel made her debut in his government as federal minister for women and youth
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