Guenther Oettinger, who’s also one of the leading figures in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, has reportedly said that she’s losing her power within the party and will finish out her term as the German chancellor. His boss, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, has fought back the unflattering description.
The European budget commissioner and former head of the state Baden Württemberg Guenther Oettinger has told the outlet Politico that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s influence is waning within her own party, the Christian Democratic Union.
“This is normal, she’s a lame duck,” he said in an interview.
The prominent CDU politician commented on the recent shift of power within the party, as former long-time head of the union parliamentary group, Volker Kauder, whom Merkel was “outspoken in favor of,” lost his position to Ralph Brinkhaus. Oettinger has pointed out that this “weakened the chancellor,” but noted that this was not the end of the Merkel era.
He predicted that she would be re-elected as the CDU chair in December to stay in the leading position for another two years as well as remain the German chancellor till the end of her term.
The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has disputed claims that Angela Merkel’s hold on power has weakened.
“He didn’t get an impression that he spoke with a “lame duck,” Junker’s spokesman Margaritis Schinas told the German outlet Welt after his boss met with the chancellor.
He also added that Juncker was looking forward to “many years of close cooperation with the Chancellor,” but did not comment on Oettinger’s statement.