BERLIN — The photos were splashed across the top-circulating tabloid in Germany this week — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “secret family life” uncovered for all to see.Read the rest here.
The secret? That she has a private life.
Unlike their counterparts in the United States, many European leaders keep their personal lives out of sight, and Merkel may be the most intensely private of them all. Her husband, a chemist, skipped her first inauguration in 2005 and rarely appears with her in public. Her political friends have never visited her at home. And she is rarely photographed wearing anything other than a suit.
Merkel’s deep-cover privacy is aided and abetted by a high-minded German mainstream media that rarely deign to report on anything they deems outside the realm of her political decision-making. But with Germany increasingly calling the shots in Europe because of the economic crisis in the 17-nation euro zone, more people are hungry for a glimpse of what makes Merkel tick.
I have long thought that our presidents have ceded a bit too much ground to the press in terms of the often intrusive coverage.