“Angela! Angela! Good boy ! “shouted the crowd that was waiting for her, Wednesday, November 3, in Beaune, Côte-d’Or, to bid farewell to France, after sixteen years in power, during which she worked closely with four French presidents.
All smiles, Chancellor Angela Merkel accompanied the French President, alongside their husbands, Brigitte Macron and Joachim Sauer, and together, they surveyed the city center of the fortified city located in the heart of the Burgundy wine region to greet the few hundred onlookers.
After the solemnity of the G20 and COP26 summits, the atmosphere was very relaxed between the two leaders, who greeted each other with a warm hug. For this farewell visit, the Elysée has chosen Beaune, “A city whose historical monuments and wine culture illustrate the richness of French heritage”.
After strolling through the historic center, they had to visit the famous Hospices de Beaune, an architectural jewel of the 15th century.e century of flamboyant Gothic style. The former hospital world famous for its wine estate had welcomed, in June 1993, François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl for the 63e Franco-German summit.
But, while the latter had stayed there for dinner, the Macron and Merkel couples will go to the Clos de Vougeot castle, an emblematic monument of wine-growing Burgundy located in the middle of the greatest vintages, founded by Cistercian monks in the XIe century.
After a piano recital, the President and Chancellor will be inducted into the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin which, since its creation in 1934, has celebrated Burgundy, its cuisine and its wines, as well as its traditions.
Angela Merkel, Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor
One of the highlights of the evening will be the presentation, by Mr. Macron, of the Grand Cross, the highest distinction of the order of the Legion of Honor, to the Chancellor. This decoration, awarded to Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schroeder, “Embodies the strength of Franco-German friendship, maintained by Angela Merkel”, explains the presidency. By insisting on the four years “Fruitful work between the President and the Chancellor, in order to strengthen bilateral cooperation, marked in particular by the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 2019, and to contribute to the European project”.
Since the 2017 presidential election, the personal and working relationship between Mr. Macron and Mr.me Merkel has evolved considerably. Initially, it was difficult to find much in common between the 67-year-old chancellor, brought up in the school of prudence, and the young president of 43 years who set up daring and movement in political markers. But over time, they have managed, according to many witnesses, to build a solid relationship of trust.
The French president has long encountered German reluctance to increase EU spending. Faced with Covid-19, they were able to strengthen their ties to conclude an alliance leading in 2020 to the European recovery plan of 750 billion euros, largely financed by pooled European loans. In recent months, the French president has praised « l’engagement », ” patience “ and “The ability to listen” of the Chancellor.
Avant M. Macron, Mme Merkel had had to adapt to the very different characters of Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande.
The Chancellor must leave politics after the constitution of a new government expected in December and currently negotiated by the Social Democrats (SPD), winners of the legislative elections of September 26, with the ecologists and the liberals. If they succeed, the current Minister of Finance, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, will succeed him.
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In Beaune, Angela Merkel bids farewell to France