BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel intends to serve a full four-year term if she is re-elected in September, she told a newspaper on Thursday, dismissing media speculation that she may step aside in 2015.
"I want to continue the centre-right coalition and I want to work for our country and its people as chancellor for the whole of the legislative period," she told top-selling daily Bild in an interview.
Earlier this week, a book by Bild reporter Nikolaus Blome suggested that Merkel could step down two years before the end of her term if she were to win the election. At that time she would have served ten years in power and be turning 60.
Polls show that Merkel is in a strong position to win a third term as chancellor of Europe's biggest economy.
It is, however, less clear whether she will be able to form a coalition with her current partners, the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), or if she will be forced into another "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats (SPD), as she was between 2005 and 2009.
Merkel declined to directly answer a question on whether she would stand again in the 2017 election.
"You know that I decide on things when I have to," Merkel told Bild. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Noah Barkin)