Thuringian PM under fire for playing games during coronavirus meetings

Thuringian PM under fire for playing games during coronavirus meetings

The State Premier of Thuringia has faced criticism for playing Candy Crush during online coronavirus response meetings with Angela Merkel and referring to the chancellor in a diminutive way.

Playing games

Bodo Ramelow admitted to playing Candy Crush on his mobile phone during meetings with the chancellor and other state premiers, during which they discussed the containment of coronavirus in Germany. He made the confession at the weekend, in what he believed to be a closed meeting on the audio chatroom app Clubhouse. 

According to reports, Ramelow, a member of the hard-left Die Linke party, said that during the sometimes lengthy coronavirus meetings, “Some people play Sudoku, others play chess or Scrabble on their phones, and I play Candy Crush.” He is also reported to have referred to Angela Merkel as “Merkelchen,” which translates to “little Merkel.”

Ramelow has since apologised for this on Twitter, saying that “diminishing the chancellor’s name was an act of male ignorance.”

Ramelow, along with other state premiers, resisted Merkel’s proposals for tougher lockdown restrictions in a coronavirus response meeting in October, just weeks before a new wave of coronavirus cases hit Germany. Ramelow has since admitted that the chancellor was right to push for tougher restrictions.

Politicians criticise Ramelow

The new head of the CDU party, Armin Laschet, told reporters that he does not play games during the coronavirus response meetings because they are simply too important. "We are discussing fundamental encroachments on basic rights... in schools, in education, in the economy, and you have to be involved in a focused way," he said in Berlin on Monday.

Steffen Seibert said that the incident “speaks for itself and requires no further comment.” Thuringia’s interior minister, Georg Maier, said that Ramelow “should reconsider his behaviour.”

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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