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Franz Müntefering: He wants to “live a little longer”

Franz Müntefering: He wants to “live a little longer”

Franz Müntefering talks about a difficult operation, old age and his marriage to his wife Michelle, who is a great support to him.

Franz Müntefering (84) was seriously ill. The former German Vice Chancellor is apparently on the road to recovery, as he indicated in an interview with “Bild am Sonntag”. The ex-politician also talks about age and his marriage to his much younger wife Michelle Müntefering (44), who is also a politician.

Franz Müntefering “wants to live a little longer”

He was ill for a long time and was not allowed to get up in the morning, says the former SPD chairman, who underwent heart surgery. The operation was “quite a serious matter”. But he was “not really” afraid of not surviving the procedure. “For the first time in my life, I thought about dying. The doctors said they could manage it. I said: OK, I trust you. Give me extra time, I want to live a little longer.”

As a politician, he was on the road a lot back then, and today his third wife Michelle is very busy. He promised her that he would not attend more than two appointments a week – he also had to “take it easy”. His wife was “a huge support” for Müntefering, who had walked five kilometers every day until the beginning of 2022, but then “suddenly found himself on the decline”. Michelle “basically guided him through everything. It’s still like that today.” The two help each other “to live our lives as best we can”. And they have been doing so as married couples for almost 15 years. The couple tied the knot in December 2009.

Wife Michelle awakens Müntefering’s ambition

In January, Müntefering’s new book “Take life as it is. But don’t leave it like that” was published. “The love of life. That is the decisive point for everything you do. […] Life is a unique opportunity that we have,” says the 84-year-old. He is also somewhat motivated by the big age difference between him and Michelle: “It awakens my ambition that we can walk side by side without provoking an outcry from people.” She slows him down and spurs him on in equal measure – and by the time he goes on his vacation, which he has booked for late summer, he will “certainly feel even fitter.” He hopes to live to see 90. “A few more years would be nice,” says Müntefering.

Source: Stern

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