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World Merkel: Virus death toll 'so bitter because it is avoidable'

15:21  04 december  2021
15:21  04 december  2021 Source:   msn.com

Germany announced its new coalition government, heralding the end of Angela Merkel's 16 years as chancellor

  Germany announced its new coalition government, heralding the end of Angela Merkel's 16 years as chancellor Merkel has led Germany since 2005. She became known as Europe's de facto leader and the world's most powerful woman.The country's next government announced on Wednesday that Olaf Scholz, Germany's finance minister and vice chancellor, will take over from Merkel as chancellor.

BERLIN (AP) — Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday made what is likely her final appeal before leaving office next week for Germans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a press conference following a meeting with the heads of government of Germany's federal states at the Chancellery in Berlin, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. Merkel said Thursday that people who aren't vaccinated will be excluded from nonessential stores, cultural and recreational venues, and parliament will consider a general vaccine mandate, as part of an effort to curb coronavirus infections that again topped 70,000 newly confirmed cases in a 24-hour period. (John Macdougall/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a press conference following a meeting with the heads of government of Germany's federal states at the Chancellery in Berlin, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. Merkel said Thursday that people who aren't vaccinated will be excluded from nonessential stores, cultural and recreational venues, and parliament will consider a general vaccine mandate, as part of an effort to curb coronavirus infections that again topped 70,000 newly confirmed cases in a 24-hour period. (John Macdougall/Pool Photo via AP)

Merkel gave what is expected to be her last weekly video message two days after federal and state leaders decided on a series of measures meant to break a wave of coronavirus infections.

Germany's Team Scholz sweeps away 16 years of Merkel

  Germany's Team Scholz sweeps away 16 years of Merkel The new centre-left coalition with Greens and liberals is planning big changes at home and abroad.Her imminent departure has been reported on for months, in the lead-up to Germany's September general election and ever since. Yet Mrs Merkel kept popping up this autumn at press conferences in Berlin, the G20 meeting of world leaders in Rome, EU leaders summits and more.

The measures include excluding unvaccinated people across the country from nonessential stores, restaurants and sports and cultural venues. In a longer-term move, parliament will consider a general vaccine mandate.

At least 68.9% of Germans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, short of the government's aim of a minimum 75% vaccination rate. The number of unvaccinated residents has been blamed as a key factor in a surge of new virus cases in recent weeks.

Olaf Scholz, SPD candidate for Chancellor and acting Federal Minister of Finance, arrives at the SPD party conference at Willy Brandt House in Berlin, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Delegates vote on a coalition agreement with the FDP and Bündnis90/Die Grünen to form a new federal government. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Olaf Scholz, SPD candidate for Chancellor and acting Federal Minister of Finance, arrives at the SPD party conference at Willy Brandt House in Berlin, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Delegates vote on a coalition agreement with the FDP and Bündnis90/Die Grünen to form a new federal government. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

Official figures suggest that the infection rate may now be stabilizing, but at too high a level.

Big Tattenstreich: Angela Merkel wants to listen to the farewell Nina Hagen

 Big Tattenstreich: Angela Merkel wants to listen to the farewell Nina Hagen The Bundeswehr says goodbye at the beginning of December by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). For the 2nd of December, a large tattoo on the site of the Ministry of Defense was planned in Berlin, the Ministry announced on Friday. For such occasions, the honored music wishes may comment - Merkel wants to hear a report of the "mirror", among other things, "for me is red roses raining" by Hildegard KNEF. © picture alliance / dpa Merkel at the large tap paver for Christian Wulff.

The national disease control center on Saturday reported 64,510 new daily cases and a 7-day infection rate of 442.7 new cases per 100,000 residents. Another 378 deaths in 24 hours brought Germany's total in the pandemic to 102,946.

“Every one of them leaves behind families or friends, stunned, speechless and helpless,” Merkel said in her video message. “This is so bitter because it is avoidable. With the effective and safe vaccines, we have the key to this in our hands.”

Olaf Scholz, SPD Chancellor-designate speaks at the SPD party conference at Willy Brandt House in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Dec.4, 2021. Delegates vote on a coalition agreement with the FDP and Bündnis90/Die Grünen to form a new federal government. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Olaf Scholz, SPD Chancellor-designate speaks at the SPD party conference at Willy Brandt House in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Dec.4, 2021. Delegates vote on a coalition agreement with the FDP and Bündnis90/Die Grünen to form a new federal government. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

She renewed a plea to Germans to take the virus seriously, adding that the new omicron variant “appears to be even more contagious than the previous ones.”

adoption of the Chancellor after 16 years: It plays us a post-match

 adoption of the Chancellor after 16 years: It plays us a post-match Angela Merkel's choice of music also reveals something about their understanding of leadership. When grand tattoo must be oracle about the deeper meaning. © dpa On the evening of December 2 adopted Angela Merkel with the big tattoo as Chancellor. Three songs played by the Armed Forces Orchestra before the Bendler Block, the headquarters of the Defense Ministry in Berlin. This farewell on Thursday sizes a bit differently than it normally will bear the music archives of the Bundeswehr.

“Get vaccinated, no matter whether it's a first vaccination or a booster,” Merkel said. “Every vaccination helps.”

Merkel is expected to leave office on Wednesday and be replaced by Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democratic Party, who is currently vice chancellor. Scholz said Saturday that his government's “most important first task” is to “fight the corona pandemic with all the strength that we have.”

“There would be a different situation now if just a few more citizens had also made the decision to get vaccination,” he said at a convention of the Social Democrats. “We must again make a whole new effort, set in motion a whole new campaign" to get more shots in arms, Scholz said.

Senior members of the party denounced a Friday evening protest outside the home of Saxony state's health minister, Petra Koepping, a Social Democrat. About 30 people gathered with torches and placards outside the home in the eastern town of Grimma.

The demonstrators chanted against coronavirus policies before fleeing in cars when police arrived.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

A new era: Scholz set to replace Merkel as Germany's leader .
BERLIN (AP) — Olaf Scholz is set to take office Wednesday as Germany’s ninth post-World War II chancellor, succeeding Angela Merkel after her heralded 16-year tenure. Scholz's government will be taking power with high hopes of modernizing the European Union's most populous nation and combating climate change, but faces the immediate challenge of handling Germany’s toughest phase yet of the coronavirus pandemic. The 63-year-old Scholz, Germany’s vice chancellor and finance minister since 2018, brings a wealth of experience and discipline to an untried coalition of his center-left Social Democrats, the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrat

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