Germany's high-flying Merkel to mark low-key 60th birthday
Updated: 2014-07-17 09:26
No sign of stopping
The inscrutable physicist who grew up in Communist East Germany and fought her way through a male party hierarchy shows no sign of giving up. The Forsa poll showed that 26 percent of Germans want Merkel to stay in office for another decade.
A Madame Tussauds wax figure of Chancellor Angela Merkel stands in front Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to mark tomorrow's 60th birthday of the German leader July 16, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
She relaxes by hiking in the Alps, listening to Wagner operas and cooking simple meals for her publicity-shy husband Joachim Sauer, a quantum chemist. They do not have children.
After losing 10 kilograms (22 pounds) this year, Merkel told German television on Sunday that she wished just for good health on her 60th birthday.
Asked if she aimed to outdo her former mentor Helmut Kohl's tenure as chancellor from 1982-1998, Merkel said she wanted to serve her full term in an orderly fashion. Then she would see.
German media have long speculated that she does not want to stand for a fourth term in 2017, and they link her to top European and international jobs. In the television interview she was asked about becoming UN Secretary General in 2018.
"That will certainly not happen," was her blunt response.
Merkel has been widely reported as telling photographer Herlinde Koelbl back in 1998 that she wanted to quit politics at the right time, saying: "I don't want to be a half-dead wreck."