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Chancellor Merkel spoke directly to the nation in prime time today, the first time she has delivered such an emergency address during her 14+ years as Chancellor. <thread>
This was not a policy speech. Her objective appeared to be to convey directly the urgency of the situation and prepare Germany for further steps to come. She called the #coronavirus pandemic the greatest challenge Germany has faced since the end of the Second World War. 2/
She emphasized that German authorities are acting on the best advice of medical experts. The top priority is to slow the spread of #COVID2019 so that Germany's well developed medical system can cope. 3/
She called on the public to follow the guidance on social distancing and to bear the frustrations of disruption to public life. "It will require everyone's efforts." 4/
Contrast to @EmmanuelMacron speech could not be more stark. He said repeatedly "We are at war." Merkel: "We are a democracy. We don't live by compulsion, but by shared knowledge and participation." Desired effect is same: social resilience and concerted effort. 5/
Merkel has been rightly criticized for her low public profile at start of #covid19 pandemic. But this week has made daily statements. 6/
Today's speech made no mention of European neighbors, the EU, or the international level, which some already have commented on. This appears to me to have been a "gird your loins" speech. I would expect it will not be the last time she addresses the nation on #coronavirus 7/
There likely will come further steps that require additional sacrifice from German public, whether economic/financial measures at EU level, or other measures. Germany and Europe will need those, and quickly. 8/
Merkel told the public, "the next weeks will be more difficult." Her directness seeks to bolster public readiness for the tough steps that inevitably are going to follow. /end
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