‘We are moving towards a new normality.’ This is how Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, put it at a coronavirus press conference last week, alongside Angela Merkel and various state premiers. The government was announcing its timetable to phase out the lockdown measures. Before it began, the conference had an almost religious feel, with those gathered seeming to wait for proclamation and guidance.
The letter, published in the Times, is signed by 31 people, including the leader of the Christian Democratic Union – and likely successor to Angela Merkel – Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
They cited post-work pints and pantomime as beloved British habits.
„Sir, Without your great nation, this continent would not be what it is today: a community defined by freedom and prosperity. After the horrors of the Second World War, Britain did not give up on us. It has welcomed Germany back as a sovereign nation and a European power. This we, as Germans, have not forgotten and we are grateful.“