EU opinion & policy debates - across languages |

Angela Merkel must be exhausted from playing hardball on the future of Greece. She today showed a never-before-seen sensitive side while visiting a school in Rostock.

Despite the crises going on in Europe, at least Germany’s doing well. A banner behind Merkel read, “Living well in Germany. What’s important to us.”

The chancellor started talking about Germany’s asylum policies and was interrupted by a young Palestinian girl who said on camera that her family was awaiting deportation.

She may have been caught by surprise, but Europe’s iron lady showed that she can be moved by the plight of refugees.

“Politics is hard sometimes,” the empathetic chancellor cooed.

“If we say, ‘You can all come, you can come from Africa.’ We can’t deal with that either.”

Merkel walked up to the young girl—who had broken into tears—and told her, “You did great.”

Then she got leaned into the girl’s face and started stroking her. It looked like very  comforting and not at all terrifyingly invasive.

The official website for the German government’s ‘Living well in Germany’ campaign describes the scene a bit differently, making it sound like the girl started crying because Merkel’s kindhearted refugee policies got her teary-eyed.

“’We’re setting up a quick asylum procedure right now. Right now we need on average five months. In the future we want to do it in three to four months,’ the Chancellor explained. The girl had to cry and wiped her tears away with a tissue.”

Heard in Europe wasn’t the only Merkel watcher who caught this. Appreciative tweets sounded off with the hashtag #Merkelstreichelt, or ‘Merkel strokes’.

Luckily, German TV show 1Live already put together a medley of pictures of Merkel stroking things.

Author :
EurActiv Network