German leader Angela Merkel on Wednesday brushed off reports in secret U.S. diplomatic cables that describe her as the “Teflon” chancellor as mere party chatter.
Most of what is said about Germany in the leaked U.S. Embassy cables released by the WikiLeaks website “is part of every better party and therefore we weren’t all that excited,” Ms. Merkel told journalists.
The cables also describe her as risk-averse and seldom creative, and Wednesday’s statement was Ms. Merkel’s first reaction since the documents were made public last week.
In them, U.S. diplomats describe her as “Teflon” chancellor in an apparent reference to her ability to stay above the political fray -- something that German commentators noted for years.
The content of some of the cables, however, appeared to have forced the sacking of the chief of staff of German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle.
A spokesman for Westerwelle’s Free Democrats party said Helmut Metzner’s contract was terminated on Wednesday, days after it was disclosed he informed the U.S. Ambassador Philip Murphy about the content of the party’s coalition negotiations with Merkel’s conservative party following the 2009 elections.
Murphy described the 41-year-old Metzner a “young up-and-coming” FDP member in one of his cables.
German officials have repeatedly stressed that the leaked documents -- which described Ms. Merkel, Westerwelle and others in sometimes unflattering terms -- won’t damage the good working relationship with the U.S. on the long run, and Murphy was seen as walking into the chancellery Thursday alongside Merkel’s chief of staff Ronald Pofalla.