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ANGELA MERKEL

‘Madame Macron?’ ‘No, I’m the Chancellor of Germany’

There was a touching moment at the First World War centenary commemorations, when a 101-year-old woman thought Chancellor Angela Merkel was French President Emmanuel Macron's wife.

'Madame Macron?' 'No, I'm the Chancellor of Germany'
Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel meet with locals in Compiègne, including the 101-year-old woman. Photo: DPA
The moment came as the heads of state were talking to members of the crowd during an emotional ceremony on the anniversary of the end of World War One.
 
Merkel and Macron held hands as they shared a touching moment at the ceremony on Saturday near the town of Compiègne in northern France.
 
They had signed a book of remembrance in a railway carriage identical to the one in which the 1918 Armistice was sealed. Both leaders also unveiled a plaque to Franco-German reconciliation and laid a wreath during the visit.
 
After unveiling the plaque the two leaders began shaking hands and speaking with locals who had come to witness the event.
 
The 101-year-old woman, who had been watching the memorial, first enthusiastically grabbed Macron's hand. “Monsieur Macron! That is not possible! A little woman like me shaking hands with the President of the Republic. That's fantastic!” she said. 
 
Then she greeted Chancellor Merkel by saying: “You are Madame Macron!”
 
Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron share a touching moment on Saturday. Photo: DPA
 
“No, I am the Chancellor of Germany,” Merkel, who was accompanied by an interpreter, explained to the senior citizen, initially in German.
 
But the woman still didn't seem to know who she was speaking to, so Merkel tried the same sentence again in French.
 
Je suis la chancelière allemande,” she said. 
 
At this point it was still not clear whether the woman understood who Merkel is.
 
Macron then asked the woman to look to the cameras for a photo.
 
The woman said “C'est fantastique!“, before Macron kissed her goodbye. She assured him that she would be at next year's commemoration. 
 
The amusing and touching encounter, which was reported by German media on Monday, can be seen in full length in this video.
 

 
World leaders marked 100 years since the end of the Great War in a series of events over the weekend.
 
Around 70 leaders including US and Russian Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin attended centenary commemorations of the 1918 Armistice in Paris on Sunday.
 
“This day is not just about remembering, but should be about a call to action,” Merkel said Saturday after visiting the forest clearing in northern France where the Armistice was signed.

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ANGELA MERKEL

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday

French President Emmanuel Macron will have dinner with Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday - the first time this year the German chancellor has received a foreign leader in person, her spokeswoman said.

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday
Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Pool Getty Images/AP | Leon Neal

The working dinner at the chancellery will focus on “European policy issues”, government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said on Monday.

Talks will focus on the “coordination between Germany and France” ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on June 24-25, she said.

The dinner meeting comes after G7 leaders gathered in England at the weekend for their first in-person summit in almost two years.

VIDEO: Watch Merkel’s funniest moments 

World leaders were also meeting in Brussels on Monday for the first NATO summit with US President Joe Biden.

Subjects on the agenda included how to deal with China’s rise and confronting an emboldened Russia, ahead of a meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.

At the EU summit, leaders are due to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, economic recovery, migration and external relations, including with Turkey and Russia.

At an online Franco-German council of ministers in May, Macron paid tribute to the German chancellor, who is bowing out of politics this year after 16 years in power.

“This last council allows me to say how much the Franco-German relationship owes to your commitment, your willingness to take action, sometimes your patience with us, and your ability to listen,” Macron said.

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