Angela Merkel trounced in German ‘punk resignation ceremony’ — just the way she wanted it

German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives a bouquet of flowers as she arrives at her office at the German Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Merkel leads a minority government that relies on…

Angela Merkel trounced in German ‘punk resignation ceremony’ — just the way she wanted it

German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives a bouquet of flowers as she arrives at her office at the German Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Merkel leads a minority government that relies on the votes of some of the country’s conservative opposition parties in order to pass legislation. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Eight months after winning her fourth term as chancellor, Angela Merkel was taken by surprise on Friday as a group of young performers mocked her rise to power and left-wing politics in a traditional “punk resignation ceremony” ahead of her final day in office.

Merkel and other senior politicians were led into Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof train station dressed in traditional dress from a 15th-century German court. When they reached the ticket-purchasing platform, a table decorated with fake flowers and fake cigarette packs with the names of her political rivals was set up, with their names written on them in a grotesque display of irony.

At the ceremony’s climax, a group of performers performing as members of a fringe-party punk band arrived wearing black ski masks and started chanting slogans such as “Merkel resign” and “Merkel! Im Pregnant!” — which roughly translates as “Merkel resign, you spoiled woman!”

After an equal-opportunity letdown, the former president and Greens leader Horst Köhler, who is rumored to be among the possible candidates to succeed Merkel, Tweeted, “Much better than life in the Bundestag!”

Ms Merkel began the morning with a speech to German students as her opponents in Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union and their counterparts in the Social Democratic Party, who have alternated as the governing party since 2005, seemed horrified at the false sense of symmetry between the ceremony and the outgoing chancellor’s departure. Merkel had said Wednesday that she would “hand over everything” and “there should be no discussion” about her successor when she retires.

A few hundred protesters gathered outside to express dissatisfaction over Merkel’s economic policies, which contributed to her party’s defeat in last week’s local elections. One banner read, “Merkel and Populists.”

With The New York Times

Leave a Comment