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Angie, Angie, where will it lead us from here?

Friday, 16 December, 2011

“My own favorite Merkel story comes from 1981, when she left the husband whose surname she still carries, Ulrich Merkel. They had met while studying physics in Leipzig, married, moved to East Berlin, and for three years Ulrich had the apartment done up while Angela completed her doctorate. When the place was spick-and-span, she decided to leave. ‘One day, she just packed her things and moved out,’ her ex-husband recalls. An almost wordless operation, apparently. She took only one item — the refrigerator, removed while Ulrich was out of the house. That’s Angela Merkel for you: a woman who runs away with a refrigerator.”

So writes Roger Boyes in Newsweek. His profile of the German chancellor “Angela Merkel and the Euro Crisis: Women in Leadership” is highly entertaining but it’s not going to go down well in Germany where it will be perceived as British payback for the recent Merkozy humiliating of David Cameron in Brussels. This is a pity as Boyes has spent 35 writing about Germany and he’s one of the most perceptive analysts of the country, its politics and its culture.

Beyond Berlin, though, the blush is well off the rose and much of austerity Europe now sees Angie through the perceptive eyes of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who peeked into their crystal ball in 1972 and wrote, “With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats / You can’t say we’re satisfied.” That’s Angie.

Angela Merkel


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