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article imageGerman Chancellor Merkel to walk Spanish pilgrimage with PM Rajoy

By Anne Sewell     Aug 18, 2014 in World
Santiago De Compostela - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is gearing up for a hike in the next few days, when she will join Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for at least part of the famous "Camino de Santiago" (Way of St James) pilgrimage in north-western Spain.
Apparently plans have been ongoing for some time now, and finally it was agreed on Monday that the two will be meeting.
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Merkel and Rajoy will be getting together for talks in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, north-western Spain on Monday, August 25th, but prior to that two leaders are planning a stroll together in the hot Spanish sun.
On Sunday August 24th, Merkel and Rajoy will don their hiking boots and take a walk along approximately five kilometers (or three miles) of the famous "Camino de Santiago."
Their walk will conclude with a visit to the monumental Romanesque cathedral in Santiago de Compostela (pictured right), according to the deputy spokesman of the German government, Christiane Wirtz.
Apparently, Merkel won't be feeling the strain, as she is a keen hiker who spends her annual holidays up in the Italian Alps. Rajoy, however, is merely a jogger, reportedly, and might struggle a little to keep up the pace. He does, however, have one advantage, and that is the fact that he was born in the city of Santiago de Compostela.
The two leaders will, apparently, be discussing the state of negotiations for the new European Commission during their visit. They will also address the development of the economic situation in the EU, and Spain in particular, and the state of bilateral relations.
The meeting takes place a few days before the European summit on August 30, in which there will be negotiations for the election of President of the European Council and the High Representative, after the July Council was closed without agreement.
These further negotiations could clear the way for economy minister, Luis de Guindos, to chair the Eurogroup. Although his candidacy has not formally been raised, this apparently has the backing of both Rajoy and the German government.
Currently, Luxembourg politician Jean-Claude Juncker has been named the Commission's president-elect and other positions remain open.
For now, both Merkel and Rajoy will be warming up for the big walk in the sunshine.
Spanish sources
La Voz de Galicia
Faro de Vigo
The Local
More about Angela merkel, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, El Camino de Santiago, The way of st james, Spain
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