Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, arrives at the Eastern Partnership Summit, inside the Europa building in Brussels, Belgium. (Photographer: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg)

Merkel to Speak on Europe at Davos in Sign of German Return

(Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, returning to the world stage after months of political stalemate at home.

While U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to address next week’s meeting in the Swiss resort, Merkel was held back by party negotiations in Germany to stitch together a new government. In a first sign that domestic pressure may be easing, she’s meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris later on Friday to discuss joint policies for Europe.

Merkel to Speak on Europe at Davos in Sign of German Return

Merkel will give a speech on Europe at Davos on Wednesday, the same day Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni plan to address the forum, her chief spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters in Berlin. She doesn’t plan to meet with Trump, whose speech is scheduled for Friday, he said.

“It’s got to do with the fact that Europe is the day’s focus and it seems appropriate for the chancellor to take a stand,” Seibert said. Trump has said he’ll advocate for his “America First” economic and foreign policies when he addresses the Davos audience.

Even while resuming her global role, Merkel’s priority is to seal a government pact for Europe’s biggest economy after almost four months of party deadlock. That still leaves the chancellor dependent on a vote by her prospective coalition ally, the Social Democrats, on Sunday.

With Social Democratic leaders predicting a narrow vote in favor of formal coalition talks, the chancellor may sense an end is nearing to the long impasse that has gripped Germany, leaving her hemmed in as acting chancellor and limiting her scope for policy making.

Merkel, 63, the longest-serving head of government in the Group of Seven leading economies, last attended Davos in 2015, when she warned that liquidity in global markets was distorting measures of competitiveness.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.