Tags: EU | Germany | Merkel | Schroeder

Germany's Merkel Pays Tribute to Predecessor's Reforms

Germany's Merkel Pays Tribute to Predecessor's Reforms

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 10:04 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid tribute Tuesday to the economic reforms her predecessor launched — and to his campaigning skills that nearly stopped her from winning the top job a decade ago.

Speaking at the launch of a biography of her longtime rival, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Merkel said he "did a service to our country" with the economic reforms and welfare-state trims he launched in 2003.

Dubbed Agenda 2010, the package was unpopular in Schroeder's center-left party but is widely credited with making Europe's biggest economy more robust.

"That Germany is in such a good position today undoubtedly has its roots in the Agenda 2010 reforms," Merkel said at a rare public appearance with Schroeder. "We were and are of fundamentally different opinions on some points, particularly on foreign policy, but that doesn't change anything about my esteem for the achievements of the reformer, Gerhard Schroeder."

As opposition leader, Merkel clashed with Schroeder over his vehement opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. They have since differed over policy toward Russia — Schroeder has always been close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Merkel narrowly defeated Schroeder in elections in 2005. She started with a huge poll lead, campaigned for deeper reforms and made tactical errors on which Schroeder pounced. Her conservatives emerged a single percentage point ahead of his Social Democrats on election night, and it took several weeks of wrangling for Merkel to negotiate a coalition deal with his party.

"Some people forgot that you could never underestimate him," Merkel said as she presented the more than 1,000-page biography by author Gregor Schoellgen. "I never did."

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Europe
German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid tribute Tuesday to the economic reforms her predecessor launched - and to his campaigning skills that nearly stopped her from winning the top job a decade ago.Speaking at the launch of a biography of her longtime rival, former Chancellor...
EU,Germany,Merkel,Schroeder
268
2015-04-22
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 10:04 AM
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