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Angela Merkel urges Germans to stand up to hatred as she leaves office after 16 years

·1-min read
Angela Merkel urges Germans to stand up to hatred as she leaves office after 16 years

Angela Merkel urged Germans to stand up to hatred as she bid farewell to office at a military ceremony on Thursday.

The outgoing Chancellor was honoured with a traditional military musical performance and march in front of the country’s political elite - except for the far-right Alternative for Germany, who were not included on the guest list.

She will remain Chancellor until next week, until her successor Olaf Scholz, from the Social Democrat party, is sworn in. Mrs Merkel wished him and his new coalition government “all the best, good luck and much success.”

“Our democracy also lives from the fact that wherever hatred and violence are seen as a legitimate means of pursuing one’s interests, our tolerance as democrats has to find its limit,” Mrs Merkel said in a speech ahead of the ceremony.

The long-time leader also urged her audience to “always see the world through the eyes of others too” and to work “with joy in your hearts”.

A brass band honoured Mrs Merkel by playing three songs of her choice (Getty Images)
A brass band honoured Mrs Merkel by playing three songs of her choice (Getty Images)

A brass band honoured Mrs Merkel by playing three songs of her choice.

Born in the northern port city of Hamburg as the daughter of a Protestant pastor, Merkel grew up in Communist East Germany before taking the helm of western German party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

After 16 years in office, Mrs Merkel has navigated multiple political crises and been a champion of liberal democracy worldwide.

Before the ceremony, she met other federal and state leaders to agree on new measures to curb Covid infections in Germany, which topped 70,000 per day this week.

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