Merkel – Same same but different?
On the outside, the new Angela Merkel looks like the old one. She still wears her usual blazer — a camel-colored one on this particular Wednesday. Her striking amber necklace has resurfaced. Her hair? Always the same. Still, something has changed since the German chancellor returned from her summer vacation. And it was apparent on Wednesday, as she stood together with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on the first floor of the Chancellery in Berlin.
“Italy has undertaken great efforts,” the German chancellor said, praisingly. She said the country’s reform agenda to combat the debt crisis had been “impressive” and that she was personally convinced it would also “bear fruit.” At the end of the press conference, she murmured to reporters: “It was nice being here with you.”
It is Merkels words that are sounding different these days. She no longer sounds like the cold, iron chancellor. Merkel seems to have discovered empathy.
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