Angela Merkel honored by German military with punk rock farewell

During the “Großer Zapfenstreich”, or Grand Tattoo ceremony – which has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic – members of the armed forces played a 1960s song that included the words “I can’t agree , can’t Do it, I still want to win, and the song “You Forgot The Color Film,” was first performed by East German punk artist Nina Hagen, Reuters reports.

Merkel will formally step down next week after 16 years in office. She will be succeeded by the Social Democratic Party Olaf Scholz, who is expected to be sworn in as prime minister after lawmakers gave him a final green light.

In a heartfelt speech at the ceremony in Berlin, Merkel said her time in power had “tested” her both politically and personally.

“But at the same time, it’s a deeply satisfying position,” she said.

She also thanked frontline workers for their efforts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and applauded the country’s ability to engage in constructive pro-democracy discussions throughout the two years. past year.

”Our democracy lives by our ability to engage critically with ideas and fix its way, and it lives by balancing the respect we have for each other and the interests we have for each other. each other – based on solidarity and trust – and also believe in the facts and believe that wherever scientific understanding is denied and conspiracy theories are pursued and incited hatred is follow. ”

Ms. Merkel also said that the pandemic has demonstrated “how important it is to have faith in politicians, in science and in public and social discourse. But those things can also be fragile. to what extent.”

She concluded her speech and said that now the next government must ”find answers that challenge us,” and wish her successor the best in leading Germany in the future. future.

Merkel, 67, grew up under Communism in East Germany, and trained as a scientist, earning a doctorate in quantum chemistry before entering politics after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She won a seat in the German Parliament, in the first election after reunification.

She led Germany and Europe through many crises during her tenure and was hailed by her supporters as a champion of liberal values ​​and an advocate of democratic values.

But while Merkel is seen as a bold and successful crisis manager, critics say she has risked alienating her party’s conservative voter base, the CDU, by winning positions. centers on key topics including nuclear energy, foreign policy and immigration.

CNN’s Fred Pleitgen contributed to this report.


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