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tv   Angela Merkel  BBC News  December 9, 2018 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT

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by other cities and could soon be seen elsewhere. lorna gordon, bbc news, edinburgh. let's ta ke let's take a look at the weather. sunday brought some sharp showers but also fairly generous amounts of sunshine. hopefully you so at least some of that because of the week ahead the sunshine becoming an brother short supply. this evening and overnight, largely clear skies but showers for northern ireland and north—west of england, the midlands and north wales. clear skies create and north wales. clear skies create a widespread frost across scotland, northern england and east anglia but more mild for the west and south. monday on the whole is fine and bright with plenty of sunshine first thing. as the day goes on we will pick up high cloud from the west and by the afternoon that will thicken,
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turning murky across the hills and coastlines. drizzle across northern ireland and pushing into western scotland. eastern counties with the best of the brightness. hello this is bbc news. the headlines: no delay to the vote, downing street insists tuesday's crucial commons vote will go ahead and the prime minster warns of "uncharted waters" if her deal is rejected. the brexit secretary urges mps to back the plan. the vote is going ahead and that's because it is a good deal, it's the only deal, and it's important we don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. but leading brexiteer boris johnson insists the uk can negotiate a better settlement with the eu. we have to change it, it's a relatively simple job to do, we can have a withdrawal agreement that does not contain the backstop, we can do much much better than this.
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police in new zealand investigating the murder of british backpacker grace millane say they have found a body. more than 1700 arrests in france after another weekend of violent protests. police use tear gas and rubber bullets on the streets of paris — and the french prime minister calls for unity. the us, russia, and others criticise ipcc study into the impact of a i.5—degree rise in global temperatures, as the un climate change conference continues. now on the news channel, we take a look at the career of one of europe's most powerful politicians — germany's chancellor angela merkel. angela merkel‘s debut seems about as far from brave as can be, but that caution continues to be
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the essence of her approach. an antihero, using care and liberation, moving discretely on the political stage. avoiding show and high flowing rhetoric, perfect in many ways for a country where even the word leader cannot be pronounced without touching off dark, historical resonances. the leadership that some other countries want germany to have, the germans don't want it because they are dammed if they do, dammed if they don't. along with a self—consciousness about wielding power is a reluctance to speak its language, to articulate a system of ideas. her allies would argue that is unfair, but it confuses
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the absence of visionary political style with a lack of conviction. she is not so much impressed by ideological positions, but make no mistake about it, she is convinced by ideas. the merkel era, though, is coming to a close. she's given up the leadership of her party and many are sceptical that she can hold onto the reins of the government, as she says she wants to, until 2021. then, what next for germany? the successor would be starting like all the others, france first, poland first, germany first. perhaps growing up in the 19505 and 19605 east germany,
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she had absorbed enough dreary ideology to last a lifetime. she is still remembered in her hometown of templin, where having been a shy, introverted character focusing on science, she only burst onto the political scene after the fall of the berlin wall. 0utside templin, there is a foundation for people with special needs, it is where the future mrs merkel‘s father worked and the family lived. coming here, you get quite an idea about how the young angela would have been conditioned and psychologically because she was living in a christian religious community, a charitable foundation, within a communist state,
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which regarded such religious entities with some suspicious, as alternative focuses of power and loyalty. and, therefore, she would have known from the outset that she had to be really careful about what she said in wider society. she puts a lot of score and loyalty. loyalty is very important, and loyalty in the communist system was very different — it was loyalty to the communist party. she has a very close circle of politician and friends. and, secondly, uncorru ptable. it's very interesting, she saw enough corruption in east germany. when in 1989, the east german system had collapsed, a world of possibilities
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opened for the ph.d chemist working at a institute in berlin. she was very interested to use her abilities after 1989 to change the political situation. it was terrible. we are restricted. and how to channel her political impulses? her religious upbringing and innate conservativism led her towards the christian democrats, where she began to carve out a career. she was underestimated, but the most significant point was that she was young... ..she was a lady, from the east, from eastern germany,
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quite ambitious, but nobody knew about her political convictions, about her ideas. merkel has patiently played the political game for years, relying on her rivals‘ self—absorption, often politicking, at her own admission, without real meaning. and then the party leadership itself came into view. those who knew her when she was minister, in the 1990s, under the former chancellor helmut kohl, they recognised she was a tough politician and quite an ambitious one but could bide her time, that was important for her. the fact that she could actually oust helmut kohl and become leader of the christian democratic union party, i think that disproved a lot of people who thought she was an easy pushover
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and she wouldn't last long. well, she has out—seen her critics and she has endured, and that is in a remarkable feat for somebody who was brought up in eastern germany. having won the leadership, germans were inevitably curious about her private life. she and her husband didn't have children and have always lived modestly. details of their domestic life emerged only occasionally. we were sitting in a restaurant and i was sitting with her husband and she was sitting at another table, and i told her husband, you can't always agree with the political decisions your wife has taken. when she comes home, what are you doing? and before he answered, she told me, it is very easy, he is silent, he doesn't say a word, he prepares a meal. ithen i know, oh, i've done something wrong. and the scope for getting it wrong would be tested in one drama after another after she became germany's leader in 2005. a method for navigating these crises
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involved triangulating to the political centre, following solutions most germans would support. her no—alternative idea was used to dominate the centre ground
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and suck the political life out of coalition partners. she is more in the testing of trial and error. this is why she is dangerous for others. she destroyed her enemies, not willingly, but she took the best ideas from them, she tested the ideas and realised them. and she left her opponents with empty hands. the greek debt crisis proved to be one of her most severe tests and one of the most successful. i witnessed one of the most difficult moments of her chancellorship when we had to negotiate the rescue operation for the euro in 2010. germany was in favour of strict conditionality because we believe in solidarity and reforms in the countries concerned were two sides of the same coin.
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for hours and hours, it was not clear whether, at the end of the day, we would achieve a solution. and then she managed to get a good result that was very, very impressive. in saving the euro and greece's membership of it, merkel moved well to the left of her party, creating big difficulties for the future and spawning a movement that explicitly rejected her no—alternative slogan. the alternative for germany, afd, it's leader was a christian democrat shunned by the then general secretary. we don't need you any longer. and he said that conservative voters have no other option than voting cdu and so it makes no sense
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for the party to be conservative or to form right wing ideas. and in solving the greek crisis, she displayed another characteristic, one that would lead her into great difficulties, of making choices within a tight circle of decision—makers. she hasn't reached out far enough when it comes to critical decisions. she has made two major decisions which are very uncharacteristic. one was getting rid of nuclear energy and the second was the refugee issue. in both cases, there was the minimum of consultation, which i think was a strategic mistake because if you don't communicate these huge decisions, you really don't bring the public on board. it was that issue, refugees, that would provoke the defining moment of her leadership.
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one where the old diving board deliberations were made impossible by the speed of events. caught off—guard on television by a compelling palestinian teenager, she had appeared wooden, uncaring. the issue forced her to take the political plunge, abandoning her customary caution. so it was with the refugee crisis, when faced with the necessity of letting in hundreds of thousands of people, she decided to make a political virtue out of it, she embraced the situation using the slogan, "we can do this," to try to redefine germany's image in the wider world. she was completely in agreement with the large majority of the germans who wanted to show that they are nice people. at this time, she was not a scientist, but she was
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someone who was feeling. it was not the narration of politics that she is the champion of. like blairand iraq, merkel‘s defining moment involved setting aside her usual caution and careful triangulation of public opinion, making a decision based on her emotional intuition. angela merkel has always been criticised for not being clear enough. she has a tactic like, i try one step, i go back, i try another step if it doesn't work. but for the very first time, with the refugees, she had quite a clear position.
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for the very first time, she was so clear and for the very first time she was really criticised. in the chancery, they were working the issue. as hundreds of thousands arrived, she was alarmed to see european partners failing to follow german's lead. europe didn't really work, as a union, it didn't work together. this was a real problem. 0n the one hand, i think that angela merkel wanted to be an example, like to say, ok, germany caused so many disasters for europe, so we are the first ones to do another thing now. and whereas its campaigning on the euro had failed to mobilise voters, migration created opportunities for the afd to seize the political ground to the right of merkel. the refugee problem is a problem which you can find in every village, in every town, you can find
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in your school when the pupils can no longer speak german. it is much more impressive for the people. this economic discussion about greece bailout was not so much impressive for the people to change their votes. in former areas of eastern germany and in the south, the afd vote soared in the last
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election, giving them more than 90 seats in the parliament. merkel clinched victory for a fourth time but she had been damaged. in an attempt to keep the coalition up right a little longer, merkel surrendered the party leadership but not the chancellorship. how long she will last in that role depends on who gets the partyjob. if you listen to them, between the lines of the germany
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first, there is little note of germany first of the three candidates. when merkel talks she is not germany first. the successor would be starting like all the others, france first, poland first, germany first. this is... well, i'm pessimistic about it. but people expect some time that we say germany first and they want the money, and the french want money, and i don't know that europe can support a chancellor who says germany first. merkel‘s very competence and long grip on office has left her party unprepared the succession and even for public disagreements about policy. and whoever succeeds must deal with a vocal afd
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faction in parliament. as indeed must merkel for as long as she holds on to the leadership of her country. but what was striking during the chancellor's speech was that she just ignored the afd interruptions and catcalls, but of course, they're here now on the opposition benches, and they're an important fact of political life. she was the midwife of the alternative for germany. she has founded our party, in a way. is it personal? does she despise your party and your politics? i don't think so, i don't think angela merkel despises someone or something,
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i don't think so. but for the christian democratic party, it is difficult to sit and look at us because a lot of these members of the party, she, angela merkel is the midwife of this party and these people could be part of us and we had mishandled the problem. it reminds her of her failure, would you say? exactly. it may too early to talk of epitaphs but it is equally clear that the merkel era is coming to an end. and with it, germany will lose a leader whose sensitivities were honed in the communist east. this grim complex was a stasisecret police prison. thousands of political detainees walked these corridors between interrogation rooms
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and their cells. perhaps the strongest thing about growing up in the gdr left her with was a hatred of tyranny, a dislike of dictators, and an innate sympathy for people who had suffered under such regimes. if there is one defining thing about merkel, over the years, it is her commitment to freedom. and this became very strong over the past couple of years, commitment to freedom, of democracy, of the rule of law, of not taking freedom for granted. i think this was one of her hallmarks. merkel was perfect for the germany of her time, diffident about leadership, careful, pragmatic, and centrist, but times are changing. i believe her she deferred this
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decision for a long time left everybody in the dark. it was the last moment ago, honestly, and to be master of your own decisions. it was the very last moment. it was a very well chosen moment. but the decision had been made, probably, months ago. how does merkel‘s party reposition itself to deal with the afd? as she leaves, the christian democrats are riven with tensions. the afd challenge is a relatively new phenomenon. i still have to be convinced that this is a transition, the success, and it is not taken for granted that populist parties will play a major role in germany in the long run, but it will depend on our ability to stick together, to find compromises, and to avoid public conflicts.
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the assumption is faltering that germany's economic power should make it ready to shoulder much of the burden, be that on the euro or refugees, her successor will face greater pressure to put national interests first, as the woman from the east slips eventually into retirement. good afternoon. sunday brought some sharp showers but it also brought lots of sunshine and hopefully you were able to enjoy a little bit of that. sunshine will become increasingly in short supply moving further into the week. on a positive note, the winds will be lighter for the first couple of days,
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a largely dry picture. from the mid—week onwards there is uncertainty in the forecast. right now, it is fairly quiet for the rest of the day and monday. showers through this evening for northern ireland, wales, the midlands and north west of england, some continuing across the mountains of scotland. elsewhere, clear skies, light winds and temperatures set to fall away. across scotland, northern england, east anglia, a widespread frost. more mild to the south and west. monday starts on the whole with lots of fine weather and lots of sunshine. towards the west, an area of low pressure is moving in and through the day that will bring high cloud initially in the west, that will thicken, with drizzle for northern ireland and western scotland and perhaps wales and south—west england.
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eastern counties get the best of the brightness. the temperaturess give you some idea of what's going on across the country. fine in the east under high pressure, but cold air getting pulled in. in the west, low—pressure trying to move in and bring more mild air but it will also bring in fronts and spells of wet and windy weather and that is the battle in terms of trying to get the forecast right. tuesday still looks like the high blocking anything coming in from the atlantic, giving us dry. for central and eastern areas and keeping temperatures down. highs of single figures across the eastern counties, more mild for the south—west. at the moment it looks like high pressure is the favoured scenario but thursday and friday it is all to play for so do stay tuned.
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downing street says there'll be no delay is a dash of tuesday's crucial commons vote on the government's plans for leaving the european union. on theresa may's deal, one leading brexiteer says her proposals, will harm the uk. i do think that we can have a fantastic future if we do brexit right. i passionately, sincerely believe that. we'll have the latest on a crucial week for the prime minister. also on the programme. in new zealand, police say they've found a body in the search for the missing british backpacker grace millane.
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