European leaders paid warm tributes to Angela Merkel on Friday as they wound up an EU summit, her 107th as Germany’s chancellor over nearly 16 years, and probably her last.
Ahead of the talks, they watched a two-minute video featuring her summit highlights.
Several took the opportunity to say how much they would miss the leader of Europe’s largest economy, in particular her corridor diplomacy skills that cooled tempers and brought compromises on difficult issues.
“This is somebody who for 16 years has really left their mark on Europe; helped all 27 of us make the right decisions with lots of humanity at moments which were difficult,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo told reporters, while Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg called her “a haven of calm.”
If German political parties — now in talks following last month’s election — fail to form a ruling coalition by mid-December, Merkel will be back in Brussels for another summit.
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