Merkel loses track of how many jackets she has

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Chancellor Angela Merkel is telling a newspaper she has lost track of how many of her trademark jackets she has.

The German chancellor always wears three-button tailored jackets blazer-style with trousers of a different colour. Famously reticent about her personal life or fashion, she unbuttoned just a little for a Munich newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, on Friday.

A Dutch graphic designer Noortje van Eekelen once counted 90 blazer colours that have been worn by Europe’s paramount leader.

“Just how many there are, I just don’t know,” Merkel, 61, told the newspaper. “There are occasions where I have to wear dark colours. Sometimes I get indications I’ll be standing in front of a white screen, so a pale blazer wouldn’t do.

“And sometimes I just spontaneously feel like putting on something brightly colourful.”

She said she often did not have the time to weigh the choice, meaning her colours tended to be “the result of pure chance.”

Merkel also said she believes an incident in 2007 when Russian President Vladimir Putin unnerved her with a dog was deliberate.

Putin knew Merkel dislikes dogs, but let his black labrador Koni enter the room at a palace in Crimea to sniff Merkel’s knees during a photo-op. The image has been described as the moment when Putin passed the point of no return in antagonizing Merkel.

The chancellor denied she was “afraid” of dogs, but said she had a “degree of worry” about them because she had been bitten once.

“Although I believe the Russian president knew exactly that I wasn’t particularly eager to pet his dog, he brought it along.

“Well, that’s the way things are. But you can see that I’m trying bravely to look in Putin’s direction and not at the dog,” she said when shown a news photograph of the incident.

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