Angela Merkel denied Sunday she planned to retire in the middle of her next four-year term as German chancellor, but refused to discuss her plans beyond 2017, dpa reported.
Interviewers in a televised panel discussion asked the Christian Democratic (CDU) leader to comment on suggestions, already denied by her spokesman, that she would hand over to an heir apparent before then.
"What more can I say? Don't you believe denials?" she said. "Being available for the four years is a matter of responsible behaviour towards voters," added Merkel, 59.
"I am looking at the next four years ahead of me," she said. "My imagination is completely taken up with the time until 2017, and I'm in no position this evening to think about the time after that."
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