Reporter awkwardly sings 'Happy Birthday' to Angela Merkel, Chancellor responds with customary cool

The journalist, from German broadcaster ZDF, burst into the song much to the delight of the world leader

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The Independent Online

The hangover from her country’s sterling World Cup win is only just starting to wear off, but there is another reason the German Chancellor will be celebrating this week – it’s her 60th birthday.

Angela Merkel spent the turn of her birthday chairing a rather sober news conference in Brussels – until one jubilant reporter piped up with a rendition of Happy Birthday for the leader.

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The German journalist even referred to the politician not using her first name but using Bundeskanzlerin, her official title.

Poised and gracious Ms Merkel found the event rather amusing and said “danke” [thank you].

According to Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the Chanellor joked that not many people had joined in: “I should have sung along, then it would have been better.”

She also revealed that she had received flowers from other leaders at the EU summit she was attending.

Leaving the news conference at 1.30am she reportedly told the assembled group: "Good night. Thank you for the serenade."

Ms Merkel was joined by French President Francois Hollande and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the summit earlier in the day to discuss the filling of two top EU positions.

The leaders were unable to come to a conclusion and will instead meet again on 30 August to discuss who will take on the roles of foreign affairs chief and European Council president.

Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, said: “We are not yet at the point where we can get a consensual solution on a full package of appointments. We will continue consultations.”

They also spoke on matters of Gaza, concluding: “The tragic events of the past days highlight the urgent need for all parties to work towards a resumption of the diplomatic process and to pursue a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The European Union reiterates its offer to both parties of a package of European political and economic support and of a Special Privileged Partnership with the European Union in the event of a final peace agreement.”