Angela Merkel Says Coronavirus Pandemic Made 2020 The ‘Toughest’ Year Of Her Chancellorship

Angela Merkel Forbes, Angela Merkel New Year's speech

As the year 2020 comes to an end, Angela Merkel recently made her traditional New Year’s address to the nation for the last time as German Chancellor. “The coronavirus pandemic was and is the political, social and economic challenge of the century,” said Merkel, who has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005.

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Calling 2020 by far the most difficult of her 15-year leadership, Merkel added that “in nine months a parliamentary election will take place and I won’t be running again.” The 66-year-old noted, “Today is therefore in all likelihood the last time I am able to deliver a New Year’s address to you.”

In her last speech, Merkel, whose leadership steered Germany and the European Union (EU) through the 2008 financial crisis, added, “I think I am not exaggerating when I say: never in the last 15 years have we found the old year so heavy and never have we, despite all the worries and some skepticism, looked forward to the new one with so much hope.”

Merkel had urged German citizens to follow coronavirus restrictions in an appeal ahead of Christmas.

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Vaccine offers hope

However, Merkel also spoke on how the vaccinations fuel new hope for the coming year. “I can only imagine how bitter it must feel for those mourning loved ones lost to corona or who are having to fight against the repercussions of an illness when the virus is disputed and denied by some hopeless individuals,” she said.

“Conspiracy theories are not only false and dangerous, they are also cynical and cruel,” she added. “I will also get vaccinated when my turn comes.”

Feature Image Credit: Csmonitor

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