tv DW News LINKTV December 2, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PST
working yet. today, she announced tight restrictions to try to break a winter wave of covid-19. unvaccinated people will be banned from leisure shops and everyone could be required to be vaccinated beginning in february. u.s. secretary of state antony blinken urging his russian counterpart to ease tensions over ukraine, morning there could be serious consequences. ♪ i'm brent goff. to our viewers watching in the united states and to all of you are in the world, welcome. we begin with a farewell to a political giant, germany's outgoing chancellor, angela merkel, who officially hands over power next week. this evening, she was
played out of office with a military ceremony in berlin. a parade of this kind is the highest honor germany's armed forces can bestow on a civilian. she was treated to a torch lit parade and music she picked herself. it was a marching band tradition of a song by east german pump artist nina hoegen, which merkel says was a highlight of her youth. she delivered a farewell speech. let's take a listen to part of what she had to say. ch. merkel: the many challenges within germany are also seen in what is going on in the rest of the world as well, and not just since the pandemic, because the financial and economic crisis in 2008 and the many people who fled their homes in 2015 have shown -- across national borders
how crucial international institutions and multilateral instruments are in order to tackle the main challenges of our day together. climate change, digitization, people fleeing their homes, migrations. i would like to encourage you in the future to look at the world from other people's perspectives as well, to perceive their perspectives -- perceive the perspectives the person next to you has, even if they are different, but always to pursue justice. brent: with us is our chief political correspondent and key merkel washer, melinda crane. we are tonight was typical merkel -- what we heard tonight was typical merkel. >> absolutely.
she is describing some core values and some she also governed by. when she talks about trying to see things from the perspective of the other, as you know, she said enormous store by keeping lines of communication open, even with people with whom she disagreed and who perhaps also had not necessarily a positive view of her, and i'm thinking of somebody like russian president vladimir putin. she has always maintained some form of ongoing dialogue with him. also the chinese leader, xi jinping, and even in the height of the financial crisis, when germany and greece were wrestling with each other, as you will remember, she still kept those lines of communication open there as well. she is an absolutely committed multilateralist, and when she talks about the need for cooperation to solve the world's
problems, she has lived that as a leader. brent: talk us through the video and the images we saw tonight of this ceremony. what were we looking at exactly? melinda: a very traditional german ceremony. it goes a long way back. it is the highest honor the german military can bestow, a formal ceremony, as we saw in the picture, with torches, a marching band marching in strict formation, quite military for a country that has a lot of ambivalence about the military for understandable reasons due tickets history, and in fact, this ceremony, the torch parade, is not uncontroversial. there have been proposals over the years that it should perhaps slowly be phased out, but angela merkel is a traditionalist in many ways and this is the
traditional way that germany says goodbye to its leaders, be it the president, the chancellor or an officer. brent: standby. we will come back to you in the moment. angela merkel has been in power so long that a generation of germans has grown up only knowing her as chancellor. over 16 years in office, she also became something of an icon. >> angela merkel controlled, stable, giving away nothing. over the past 16 years, she created her own brand of civility politics, rooted in science and her original definition of what it is all about. ch. merkel: for me, politics is service for the people, for those who elect the politician. >> aged 51, angela merkel became germany's first woman chancellor. ch. merkel: so help me god.
>> immediately, she raised the alarm of climate change as a threat to humanity, that she would fail to meet her own climate ambitions, like most of the world's most powerful leaders she prodded into action. soon, events would demand her focus, and her forte became managing crises. the collapse of lehman brothers in 2000 and the euro crisis that followed saw merkel's stability politics survive a baptism by fire. her work was enough to calm the nerves of german savers. ch. merkel: we tell all savers that their funds are safe. the government will make sure. >> but forcing austerity on greece and other countries also sparked hostility and fear. didn't merkel's -- in merkel's eyes, the role of the chancellor
a bubble was to provide stability, and with every passing year, more people would take her name to mean that. in 2015, large groups of refugees risk their lives to come to europe. merkel left the german borders open. around one million people came to germany. she insisted failure to integrate them was not an option. ch. merkel: we will manage this. >> while she was hailed abroad for her open arms policy, at home, she was targeted by right-wing populists, who chanted merkel must go. to this day, europe lacks a common asylum policy. merkel's plan to focus on europe in her final year was derailed by the covid-19 pandemic. a scientist herself, she did not hesitate to accept the magnitude of the threat. ch. merkel: it is serious.
take it seriously. >> germany went into an immediate bud light lockdown -- immediate but light lockdown. she also dropped her resistance to eu direct debt, leading german taxpayers standing in for other european countries. in her exclusive legacy interview with dw, she says this is one of her toughest moments. ch. merkel: the two events i personally found most challenging were, for one, the large number of refugees arriving here, and now there's the covid-19 pandemic. those are perhaps the ones where you can see people directly affected, where people's fates were at stake. that was the most challenging. >> after 16 years as chancellor, the brand of stability politics angela merkel created will remain a reference point for leaders around the world.
brent: a reference point to the past. what kind of germany is merkel leaving behind? melinda: she leaves behind a very stable, very prosperous country. germany became more prosperous over the course of her chancellorship, but a country in which many people fear that stability and prosperity are less solid than they have been in the past, that they are in fact precarious and this country achieves major modernization in the areas of digitalization -- she listed some of them in her remarks -- digitalization, reduction of bureaucracy, innovation, but especially also dealing with climate change. this is a heavy industry country and if it does not get in front of that, it will lose its competitiveness, so big challenges and, somewhat argue
the last -- and some would argue that the last four of her chancellorship have been years of stasis, but the pandemic also gotten away. brent: plans for her retirement? melinda: she has been playing cards close to her vest. i think she honestly does not know and wants time to reflect. that is what we discovered over at the parliamentary studio when we looked into her possible future options. let's take a look. >> what exactly angela merkel sees when she looks into the future she's not saying. after 16 years at the helm, she will finally have time to relax and pursue her hobbies, but what formal that take? in berlin, there has been speculation about merkel's plans for life after retirement. >> she will take on honorary positions, become chairman of a foundation somewhere.
>> first, merkel should write her autobiography, 10 volumes. that would be my wish and i would definitely read it. >> after they do something remarkable, like win the super bowl, they go to disneyland. >> she will go hiking. she loves potato soup. >> as chancellor, angela merkel saw many heads of state, and -- state, and go. -- state come and go.
life as well as an office in the buddhist -- in the parliament, including an administrator. weeks in office to pay farewell visits at home and abroad here and in france. her current role may be that of a caretaker, but there is plenty to take care of. she will be keeping political appointments up to her last day. at any rate, she seems to be taking pleasure in the prospect of soon leaving politics behind. ch. merkel: was that it? yeah. then i wish everybody a great weekend. brent: it won't be until the weekend that we had over power. walk us through this. melinda: it will probably hand us next wednesday -- it will probably happen next when -- next wednesday, on the
weekend signing off for the free democrats, and the spd and greens already voting. those results are expected to be positive, but given that, then the vote will be taken in the parliament. there is no discussion, simply an up or down vote on whether olaf scholz is voted in as chancellor. he is then sworn in in front of the bundestag officially. then she is a free woman. brent: where will this freewoman be next year? melinda: i believe her when she says that she will not be playing a political role. she is a person of modesty. she is immune to the blandishments of power and also material matters, so i think we will not see her go through that
revolving doll that schroeder -- revolving door that schroeder enjoyed walking through. she is deeply respected in other countries and her belief pulpit to weigh in on important matters. brent: she knows that everyone at some point can be replaced. melinda, thank you. with less than a week to go before departing office, chancellor merkel is still hard at work trying to contain a surge of covid cases in the country, trying to get control of the situation after convening federal and regional leaders. they include a vaccine mandate do to be discussed by the german parliament. they also want to step up their vaccination program and has made an urgent appeal for everyone to get the shots. a lockdown for unvaccinated
people has been announced. theyill be barred from nonessential shops and face contact restrictions. there are limits on the numbers allowed at indoor and outdoor events, bars and clubs in hotspot areas will be closed. >> action must be taken. everyone agreed on this. that is a rare event when leaders hold crisis meetings. >> we are calling for a national act of solidarity. we want the infection rate to decrease. we went numbers that relieve the pressure on our health care system. >> among the new rules, unvaccinated people will be excluded from nonessential shops and restaurants and sports and cultural venues, meaning a lot of seats will have to remain empty. those who have refused the jab will suffer restrictions in their private lives. masks will be mandatory in
schools and there will be a ban on fireworks for new year's eve. rules are being tightened, especily for the unvaccinated. >> the unvaccinated are responsible for the majority of infections and severe cases. this means that a minority group is responsible for the lion share -- the lion's share of infections. we must respond. >> a mandatory vaccination requirement may be implement it for nursing home staff. the government aims to vaccinate as many as possible, aiming for 30 million by the end of the year. >> we all need to make this ambitious plan our top priority. many people still have to get their first vaccination and those who already are vaccinated need a booster. one of our biggest challenges is raising public awareness on this issue. >> over the next few weeks, we need to reduce our social
contacts. this is the only way to break the fourth wave, and we have to vaccinate. that is the only way out of the pandemic. >> this meeting of federal and state leaders was unusually harmonious, without any party bickering, perhaps a parting gift for the outgoing chancellor. brent: dw's chief political correspondent was following today's political conference and she says what we saw today is a sign of what is to come as germany's new government takes over management of the pandemic. >> what we saw here today is as close as we are probably going to ever get to the incoming government admitting that they simply were not up to speed when they came to tackling the fourth wave, and this is now an increasingly desperate attempt to stop that, which is slowing, and in the document that i have, it says that the lawmakers will be asked to extend the catalog
of potential measures under the current law that was just introduced by the incoming government of olaf scholz and to extend measures implement it previously by the previous merkel government beyond december 15's deadline, so this is all sides pulling together, trying to keep face and implement tough, strict new measures. brent: let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. austrian chancellor alexander schallenberg has announced he is stepping down after taking over from his predecessor, sebastian kurtz, who stepped down in october following a corruption scandal. he said he would leave office as soon as the conservative austrian people sco party names a new leader. police in new york city have arrested a man outside the united nations headquarters after he was seen pacing outside one of its main gates with what appeared to be a shotgun. the complex was temporarily put under lockdown.
the man was taken into custody without inciden nine people have escaped from a prison in central mexico after it was stormed by unidentified gunmen. they caused a distraction by setting two cars alight and ramming the building with other vehicles. security forces were injured in the response. the duchess of sussex has won a legal victory in a privacy case against the publisher of a british tabloid. the publisher appealed against an earlier court ruling that it had breached megan's policy by printing parts of the letter that she to her father. the court dismissed the appeal. u.s. secretary of state antony blinken has met the russian foreign minister in stockholm amid a buildup of russian troops along the border of ukraine, fueling tensions between russia and nat. the meeting took place on the
sidelines of a summit for the organization of security and cooperation in europe. blinken has also met ukraine's foreign minister. blinken says the u.s. is worried about russia's displays of force and that his country will support kiev. vladimir putin demands legal guarantees from nato that the alliance will never expand eastward. during a short joint press conference, the foreign ministers of the two countries had this to say. >> president biden shared with president putin when they met in geneva some months ago a strong preference of the united states for a stable, predictable relationship between our countries. it is in the best interest of both of us, our people and, actually, the entire world, but as we have make clear in recent weeks, we have deep concerns about russia's plans for renewed aggression against ukraine. that would move us in exactly the opposite direction. >> regarding the rise in
tensions in europe everyone is talking about, is known. president putin underlined that we do not want any conflicts. brent: let's take this story to our correspondent standing by in our studio in brussels. we understand that the president of the u.s. and russia are going to be meeting face-to-face directly in the near future. is that a sign we are heading toward a diplomatic solution to this crisis? >> i think it is far too early to say whether diplomacy will succeed or fail. you heard secretary blinken there saying that things are moving in the wrong direction, in the opposite direction from a diplomatic solution. all we have seen so far are troops massing on the border with ukraine, other forces coming in, building field hospitals, so things do not look good at the moment.
at the same time, with a bite in-food meeting likely to be scheduled -- with a biden-putin meeting likely to be scheduled, there seems to be some kind of opportunity for compromise that the u.s. at least sees at the moment or they not be so -- be putting so much effort into this. brent: there were sanctions imposed on russia after they annexed crimea and that has not changed their behavior, so what remains if diplomacy does not work? >> since ukraine is not a nato ally, there is just on a military solution to this. you will not see 30 nato allies guarantee ukraine that they will rush to its defense, but we did here secretary blinken over the last couple of days worn the kremlin that economic retaliation like it has never seen before is being teed up should it go so far as to step
over the border with ukraine again. and other nato allies also are preparing such sanctions within the european union and bilaterally as well, so this is the direction in which they are ready to go. they want to hurt the kremlin but they do not intend to bill that militarily to combat what we see on the border with ukraine. there remains to be seen. the next move is moscow bosco. -- is moscow's. everybody is nervous now with troops along the border. brent: thank you. you are watching dw news. our special coverage of the farewell to german chancellor angela merkel continues with a special edition of the day after the break, but right now, we want to leave you with more from chancellor angela merkel's military farewell ceremony as she prepares to hand over power next week after 16 years in office. we will be right back.