Pandemic gives me sleepless nights - Merkel | Daily News

Pandemic gives me sleepless nights - Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seen on a display as she addresses single parents during online talks as part of her citizens' dialogue series at the chancellery in Berlin on Tuesday. - AFP
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seen on a display as she addresses single parents during online talks as part of her citizens' dialogue series at the chancellery in Berlin on Tuesday. - AFP

GERMANY: German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted Thursday that she has lost sleep over the pandemic, tossing and turning over "tough decisions" for a nation eager for relief from months of virus restrictions.

In a rare television interview, the 66-year-old also said she looked forward to the day when hairdressers can reopen, even if she has to come to accept that going grey is a fact of life.

"I do wake up at night sometimes and think about everything," she told German broadcaster RTL.

"This is a difficult time for me too, our decisions need to be clearly thought out and I turn things over and over in my mind before reaching a decision," she said. "It's hard to switch off."

The veteran leader, who usually eschews talking about her personal feelings, said the pandemic hardships experienced by so many people, including families, artists and small-business owners, had left their mark.

"Again and again I have to make tough decisions. I too would like to have something good to announce," she said. "But we can't give false hope so I always try to be realistic."

When asked how she keeps her own hair coiffed even though hair salons in Germany have been closed since November, Merkel said she had the help of an assistant, "while of course respecting all hygiene regulations".

"And yes, one has to live with the fact of slowly going grey," Merkel added.

"I will be happy when hairdressers can reopen."

Merkel, who is stepping down this year after more than 15 years in power, is due to hold talks with Germany's regional leaders on whether to extend or relax the current shutdowns.

Germany, the European Union's most populous, has recorded more than two million Covid-19 cases so far and some 60,000 deaths. - AFP