Chancellor Angela Merkel has squelched a new bout of speculation that she might seek a top European job after standing down as Germany's leader.

Merkel last year gave up the leadership of her center-right party and said she wouldn't seek a fifth term as chancellor. She said then that she won't seek another political job after she leaves office, whenever exactly that is.

Nonetheless, periodic speculation has flared about the possibility of Merkel seeking a top European Union job — the latest round stirred by an interview in which she said she's concerned about Europe and has an "even greater feeling of responsibility" to work with others on its future.

Merkel told reporters Thursday her statement stands that she won't take "any other political office, no matter where it is."