Merkel to live in flat

2005-10-23 13:33

Berlin - Germany's chancellor-designate Angela Merkel on Sunday said that she will not live in the official residence occupied by outgoing chancellor Gerhard Schroeder but stay on in her Berlin apartment.

"I go to work every day from my apartment in central Berlin and I plan to continue doing so," the leader of Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) told the Bild newspaper.

She said she did not know yet know how she would use the private rooms at the chancellery where Schroeder has been living.

"I have not yet seen these rooms," she told the paper.

Merkel revealed that one of the objects she planned to take with her from her office at the CDU headquarters to the chancellery was a framed picture she keeps on her desk of the German-born 18th century Russian empress Catherine the Great.

"I think she was in many ways, though not in all, an example of a strong woman," said Merkel, who will be Germany's first ever female chancellor.

Merkel has always been discreet about her private life and rarely appears in public with her second husband, scientist Joachim Sauer, whom she has said will try to live his life as before when she becomes chancellor in mid-November.

She will head a left-right coalition between the conservatives and Schroeder's Social Democrats currently being negotiated between the two parties.