January 27, 2014 Deutsche Welle
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has delivered her state of the nation address to the members of parliament. As she begins her third term domestic issues were the principal focus.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech on Wednesday touched on some major policy aspects of her new coalition as her third term gets under way.
The speech focused mainly on domestic issues and Merkel’s vision of the ‘grand coalition,’ consisting of the chancellor’s center-right Christian Democrats and the center-left opposition Social Democrats.
At the start of the speech, she briefly addressed developments in Ukraine, saying her office, the German embassy in Kyiv, and the German foreign ministry was keeping an eye on the situation in light of the “serious negotiations” going on.
On Tuesday, Ukraine’s prime minster, Mykola Azarov, and his Cabinet resigned, and a strict series of anti-protest laws was repealed in concessions to demands of the opposition.
The chancellor gave her state of the nation speech from a sitting position for the first time due to an injury to her lower back that she sustained while cross country skiing over the New Year’s holidays.
The heavy emphasis on social justice was remarkable coming from a chancellor from the conservative Christian Democratic Party, said Melinda Crane, DW’s chief political correspondent. “If you didn’t know which party Merkel belongs to, you’d think she was from the Social Democrats,” Crane said.