Sugarcoating and Brutal Honesty: How leaders are managing the coronavirus crisis

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“This plays into many of Merkel’s strengths, and in a way, the important status she has in Germany,” said Rutter. “It plays with her sensitive, scientific style, very calm but authoritative, and she is more naturally at ease with science, more than the other leaders. “

Merkel went even further in a no-nonsense national address a week later, March 18, the first of 14 years in office.

“The situation is serious; take it seriously, “said Merkel, describing the crisis as the greatest challenge facing the Germans since the Second World War.

She was rewarded for her frankness. Since the start of the epidemic, its approval ratings have skyrocketed, up 11 points from a record 79 percent.

This week, as she drew up plans for a gradual easing of the country’s foreclosure measures, her attention to detail and her cautious plan to revive the economy were announced again.

“Growing up in Communist East Germany,” wrote Carnegie Europe scholarship recipient Judy Dempsey, “Merkel understands the balance between security and transparency.”

Aurelien Breeden contributed to the report.

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