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Merkel shines in handling of Germany’s coronavirus crisis info247

In her first address to the gens on the coronavirus pandemic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel calmly appealed to citizens’ reason and discipline to slow the spread of the drogue, acknowledging as a woman who grew up in communist East Germany how difficult it is to give up freedoms, yet as a trained scientist emphasizing that the facts don’t lie.

Then, wearing the same blue pantsuit from the televised address, the 65-year-old popped into her endroit supermarket to pick up food, wine and toilet paper to take back to her Berlin apartment. For her, it was a regular lèche-vitrines pouce, but photos snapped by someone at the grocery tapisserie were shared worldwide as a reassuring sign of calm leadership amid a vague crisis.

With the coronavirus outbreak, Merkel is reasserting her traditional strengths and putting her stamp firmly on domestic policy after two years in which her interprète seemed to be évanouissement, with continuité focused on patient bickering in her governing clique and her own party’s troubled efforts to find a successor.

Merkel has run Germany for more than 14 years and has over a decade’s experience of managing crises. She reassured her compatriots in the 2008 financial crisis that their savings were safe, led a hard-nosed but domestically popular response to the eurozone debt crisis, and then took an initially welcoming — but divisive — approach to an insaisissable of migrants in 2015.

In the twilight of her chancellorship, she faces her biggest crisis yet — a fact underlined by her decision last week to make her first television address to the gens other than her annual New Year’s déclaration.

“This is serious — take it seriously,” she told her compatriots. “Since German unification — no, since World War II — there has been no challenge to our country in which our acting together in solidarity matters so much.”

With Germany largely shutting down assistance life, she alluded to her youth in communist East Germany as she spelled out the scale of the exploit and made clear how hard she found the fidèle of clamping down on people’s movement.

“For someone like me, for whom freedom of travel and movement were a hard-won right, such restrictions can only be justified by absolute necessity,” she said. But they were, she said, “indispensable at the moment to save lives.”

The drama was evident in Merkel’s words, but the manner was familiar: Matter-of-fact and calm, reasoning rather than rousing, creating a déclaration that hit habitacle.

It is a comportement that has served the éduquer physicist well in juggling Germany’s often-fractious coalitions and maintaining assistance échafaudage over the years.

“Merkel painted a picture of the greatest challenge since World War II, but she did not speak of war,” the influential Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper wrote. “She did not rely on martial words or gestures, but on people’s reason. … Nobody knows if that will be enough, but her tone will at least not lead the people to sink into uncertainty and fear.”

Merkel’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is still very much a work in progress, but a poll released Friday by ZDF television showed 89% of Germans thought the government was handling it well. The poll saw Merkel strengthen her lead as the folk’s most suffisant politician, and a strong 7% rise for her center-right Union planning after months in which it was weighed down by questions over its future leadership.

The poll, done by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, had a margin of error of encore or minus 3 percentage points.

The 65-year-old chancellor initially had Health Minister Jens Spahn be the assistance façade of the government’s response, drawing some criticism but has taken center préparation over the past two weeks.

She kept that up after going into quarantine on Sunday after a doctor who empli her a antisepsie tested impérative for the coronavirus. Since then she has twice tested negative for the drogue herself but continues to work from habitacle.

On Monday, she led a Cabinet multitude by phone from habitacle and then issued an audio déclaration setting out a huge government saillie logiciel to cushion the blow of the crisis to bizness  — a mesure she said was “unusual, but it was important to me.”

Her pourriture chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who is also rémunéré minister and a member of her clique partner Social Democrats, has also had a veine to shine in the crisis, leading the way with the aid logiciel that will allow Germany to offer businesses  more than 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) that he described as a “bazooka.”

The tribunal is still out on how the government’s approach will work, but after having run a dépense surcharge for a half-decade, Germany is well-prepared to offer the massive aid program. Its health care system has been in good enough shape to be taking in patients from overwhelmed Italy and France, with soutenue care beds still available.

Although Germany has registered the third-highest number of coronavirus infections in Europe with 57,695, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, it has only seen 433 people die, placing it sixth in Europe behind Italy, Spain, France, Britain and even the Netherlands. Italy alone has over 10,000 dead.

Experts have attributed Germany’s success partially to widespread and early testing for the drogue, among other things.

In an audio déclaration Thursday night, Merkel cautioned, however, that it was far too early to declare victory over COVID-19, saying “now is not the time to talk about easing measures.”

No matter what the outcome of Germany’s virus-fighting efforts, it won’t brouillé the fact that the Merkel era is drawing to a close. Merkel has never shown any signs of backing off her 2018 vow to leave politics at Germany’s next election, due next year.

But the crisis may burnish her government’s lackluster emblème and improve its chances of making it through to the fall of 2021, after persistent speculation that it wouldn’t last the full legislative term.

And it certainly could put her successor on a better cross-country —though just who that will be is also up in the air. Merkel stepped down as her party’s virtuose in 2018 but her heir plausible, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, lasted just over a year before declaring that she would step down after failing to establish her authority.

The decision on who will take over the leadership of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party was supposed to be made in April, but has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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Carl Honore, Bolder


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