Status: 10/26/2021 5:57 p.m.
Federal President Steinmeier said goodbye to the Merkel government with thanks and praise. Your chancellorship was formative for the image of Germany in the world. He also emphasized the challenge posed by the numerous crises in recent years.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his respect and thanks to the previous Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government for their work over the past few years. Now is the end of a “chancellorship that can be counted among the greatest in the history of this republic,” said Steinmeier in Berlin on the occasion of Merkel’s dismissal and the ministers, according to a speech that had been disseminated in advance. Above all, the corona pandemic made enormous demands on the rulers.
Federal President Merkel and the other members of the government of the grand coalition had previously asked to continue their executive offices until a new government was elected. Their term of office ended with the constitution of the newly elected Bundestag in the morning.
Federal President Steinmeier says goodbye to the Merkel government
Martin Schmidt, ARD Berlin, daily news 8:00 p.m., 10/26/2021
Corona pandemic and polarization as problems
“To say that the previous legislature was ‘challenging’ doesn’t even come close to the tasks that had to be mastered,” said Steinmeier according to the speech, especially with a view to the Corona crisis. In this situation the rulers would have “taken responsibility for our country with all the strength and seriousness that this situation demanded of you,” emphasized the Federal President.
Another challenge was the growing polarization in society, which was accompanied by the “brutalization of language”. In general, democracy requires “a constant balance of interests”. In these times, however, this compensation was particularly difficult.
Steinmeier paid special tribute to Merkel’s services in the 16 years of her reign. Her chancellorship was “formative for our reunited country and for the image of our country in the world” and also “formative for a whole generation of young women and men for whom she exemplified a new, very unique form of leadership”.
Steinmeier emphasizes the numerous crises
It was a time “that was not exactly poor in crises and upheavals,” said Steinmeier, referring to the financial and economic crisis, the euro crisis, then the “great humanitarian flight and migration crisis” and finally the corona crisis. The Chancellor has “earned our country respect, respect and even affection”, in Europe and the world. “Above all, however, you have won the trust of our country’s citizens,” emphasized the Federal President. “Your decisions conveyed security and commitment.”
Steinmeier praised Merkel’s courage “to take responsibility at the time when refugees from Syria sought protection with us” and her role as “mediator” in the European Union.
Difficult time forming a government
In his speech, Steinmeier recalled the difficult formation of a government after the 2017 federal election. “Even the beginning of this coalition was anything but easy, and especially at the beginning – after difficult months of government formation – it was repeatedly exposed to centrifugal forces and harsh criticism.” Then, however, the democratic forces in government and parliament would have “made sure that polarization and provocation could not prevail”. This joint effort was successful and “it is a success not only for you, but for democracy,” emphasized Steinmeier.
A total of around 600 laws have been passed in the past four years “and with them many concrete improvements in society”, for example for family carers, families and single parents, the protection of tenants or the immigration of skilled workers, “which we urgently need “. Steinmeier also mentioned the strengthening of the promotion of democracy and “legislative packages against hatred and agitation on the Internet”.
Steinmeier hands over certificates of discharge to Merkel’s cabinet
Eva Ellermann, ARD Berlin, 26.10.2021 · 18:11