Merkel asks Germans to stay home over Christmas: "The price of 590 dead a day is unacceptable"
"If this Christmas ends up being the last one we spend with our grandparents, it means we've done something wrong," she warns
BarcelonaIn a moving speech to the Bundestag, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Germans to give up family Christmas celebrations and not to gather in large groups, especially with vulnerable people such as the elderly. "I am sorry, I am very sorry from the bottom of my heart, but if the price to pay is 590 dead a day, it is unacceptable from my point of view," she said, which drew loud applause.
"And when the scientists are practically begging us to cut back our contacts for a week before we see Grandma and Grandpa and elderly people this Christmas, then maybe we should think hard if we can't find a way to start our school holidays on the 16th instead of the 19th. What will we say when we look back on this once-in-a-century event if we can't find a solution for these three days?" she added.
Visibly moved, and aware of the sacrifice that for many people will mean not being able to celebrate Christmas with their families, the chancellor insisted: "If we have too many contacts the days before Christmas and it ends up being the last Christmas we spend with our grandparents, then we will have done something wrong. We shouldn't have to let it happen.