German Chancellor Merkel not one for formalities, spokesman says

30th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

Unlike some politicians, Angela Merkel is not fond of formal titles, according to spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm.

Berlin -- German Chancellor Merkel has little time for formal titles, her official spokesman, Ulrich Wilhelm, says in an interview with the weekly Die Zeit.

On taking up his post after the September 2005 elections, Wilhelm began addressing his boss as "Frau Bundeskanzlerin" - Mrs Federal Chancellor.

But Merkel soon set him straight, telling him with irony that she would in return address him as "Herr Staatssekretaer", Mr State Secretary, the deputy ministerial rank that Wilhelm holds.

"I come from Bavarian official tradition, where it is understood that the holder of an office is addressed by their title," Wilhelm told Die Zeit.

When speaking to his former boss, Edmund Stoiber, Bavarian premier for 14 years until his retirement last year, Wilhelm still addresses him formally as "Herr Ministerpraesident."




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