Angela Merkel has already given up the leadership of Germany’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union – now she is giving up her Facebook page.
In another sign the chancellor has entered the final phase of her political career, Merkel announced the move away from Facebook – where she has more than 2.5 million followers – in a short video on her official page on Friday.
Merkel, who handed the leadership of the CDU to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in December, has said she will step down as chancellor after her term ends in 2021.
“Today is the day I want to thank you for the strong support of my Facebook page,” Merkel said in the video. “You know I’m no longer the head of the CDU, and that’s why I will close down my Facebook page.”
Within minutes, the video had begun receiving hundreds of comments from Germany and around the world. Many were positive (“You have my admiration and loyalty,” one read); others were less so (“I don’t like this woman, I never liked her and I never will like her,” said another).Advertisement
In addition to regular posts about Merkel’s whereabouts and the latest issues she is focusing on, her page lists her favourite books (anything by Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky), favourite film (Out of Africa) and her dream (to take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok).
Before her farewell message, however, recent posts to the page had been relatively sparse. The previous entry was a video of her speech at the CDU conference in December, where Merkel officially gave up her leadership post, in which she called her years at the helm of the party “a great pleasure” and an honour.
Despite her large number of followers on Facebook, Merkel, unlike many politicians, has never had a Twitter account. Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, typically tweets comments or announcements on Merkel’s behalf.
Though she may be getting rid of her personal Facebook page, Merkel encouraged people to continue following her work on the official German government’s Facebook page as well as her Instagram account.