Tuesday 20 February 2018

Lise Hand's diary: Merkel's magic charm in political PR

Angela Merkel with the German team
Angela Merkel with the German team

IF any politicians want a master-class in how to survive a tricky photo-opp, they need look no further than Angela Merkel.

The German Chancellor managed the not-inconsiderable feat of being snapped celebrating post-World Cup final in a dressing-room full of semi-clad young chaps and one gold statuette, without looking like a total pillock. Moreover, it turned out that unlike some politicians who horn in on sporting victories (Charlie Haughey and the Tour de France, anyone?) with cringe-making results, Angela's party's ratings actually rose by 2pc when she flew to Brazil to watch Germany hammer Portugal 4-0.

It probably helped that Angela is a genuine football fan, and is an honorary member of the club she has supported for donkey's years, Energie Cottbus. And this fact was used to cunning effect when she visited Dublin for a meeting of the EPP party (of which Fine Gael is a member) last March.

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