The Gods Are Angry: Merkel Insists Lightning Strike on Hollande’s Plan Was A “Good Omen”

I was intrigued by the meeting of France’s new president Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a meeting where they discussed their sharp differences over austerity programs for European nations like Greece. On his flight to the meeting, Hollande’s plane was struck by lightning and he had to take another plane. After hearing of the divine act, Merket insisted that the lightning strike was “maybe a good omen for our co-operation.” Now that is a spin and got me to thinking about other omens. I wonder if Merkel used the same line as Mrs. Baylock in the movie The Omen when meeting Hollande: “Have no fear, little one… I am here to protect thee. ”


Most people would not view a near death dealing lightning strike to be a good omen for the meeting. However, Merkel may be referencing The Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) which details natural phenomena and unnatural births. Of course, if the lightning strike is a good omen that near collapse of Greece, Italy, and Spain must be really really good omens.

The translation of Merkel’s comments indicate that she may have been referring to the fact that Hollande continued after the lightning strike as a good omen. However, that is not nearly as entertaining as the lightning strike as a good omen, as reported, and besides Hollande cannot be the creator of an omen, which rests with the almighty. Under that analysis, this would have been a divine test, which Hollande overcame.

That would also mean that this was a great omen for the President as he stated “we cannot sustain . . . ”

Source: AFP

12 thoughts on “The Gods Are Angry: Merkel Insists Lightning Strike on Hollande’s Plan Was A “Good Omen””

  1. Bron, I think one has to differentiate three areas:
    – power/party politics
    – foreign policy
    – domestic policy

    In power/party politics she is really assertive and ruthless. Just this week she used the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia to destroy one of her serious rivals in her party (Mr Röttgen), while distancing herself from that defeat.
    One stone, two birds. Beautifully done, if you like Machiavelli.

    In foreign policy I don’t really see anything she has done on her own free will, she just seems to *re*act or (worse IMHO) procrastinating.

    In domestic policy she really “leads from behind” too. But that is more a stylistically problem, because the German Chancellor can’t govern domestic policy without parliament and federal council/state administrations anyway.

    She could initiate more discussion (“set the agenda”), but that isn’t really critical. Unlike her passiveness on foreign policy where the chancellor *should* be the driving force.

  2. Berliner:

    The little I have read has praised her as a take charge person. I guess not so much.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer.

  3. Bron, politically I’m on the other side of the German political spectrum. Of course during her tenure she moved significantly to the center, especially on economical matters.

    As a person I’m actually quite fond of her.

    What really grates on me, and in my view even disqualifies her for chancellorship, is that she is a power politician and not a stateswomen/leader.
    Her usual modus operandi is to stay uncommitted until she has a read on the populous or parliament, and then to come out on the “winning” side.
    Better than etch-a-sketching your previous statements, and similar to “evolving” your positions, but it still feels too much like “I’ll do anything for power” for my comfort.

    And on the financial crisis she really dropped the ball. She has to make one of two very unappealing choices:
    – Kick Greece out of the EU, and risk the disintegration of the whole EU as financial speculators bet against weaker EU members.
    – Handing substantial chunks of the German budget over to financially unreliable Greek bureaucrats and hope it will save the EU. Stepping down before the 2013 election so her political suicide will not drag her party down to zero percent.

    To do nothing before the 2013 federal election will bite us (as in “Germany”) in the ass.

    Nothing good ever resulted from procrastination. “Often wrong – never in doubt!”

  4. Berliner, thanks for the translation. Better than her liking the lightning strike on his plan [sic].

    Lightening strikes are bad news. The lightening and/or turbulence of the storm can cause the plane to lose wings. Not a good thing.

  5. But what about that omen of losing the election Mr. Sarkozy? Or how ’bout we drop the superstition and get down to brass tacks?

  6. OK, to give the quote more context:

    “Wir freuen uns sehr, dass er am Tag seiner Ernennung zu uns nach Deutschland gekommen ist. Und wir freuen uns noch mehr, dass er dies getan hat, obwohl der Blitz eingeschlagen hat. Vielleicht ist dies ja ein gutes Omen für unsere Kooperation.”

    My translation: “We’re very glad he visited Germany on the day after his inauguration. And we’re even gladder that he did so despite the lightning that struck. Maybe that’s an good omen for our cooperation.”

    So the good omen is that President Hollande is willing to “brave” lightning strikes to speak with the German government, not the lightning strike itself.

  7. The focus needs to stay on the Greeks and how to push the Krauts and Frogs to push the Grecos out of the Euro Zone. Quickly, sooner than later, ASAP. Time this right after the American election in November so that Obama wont take some hit for a short stock market crumble. Drachma, Drachma, I smell a Drachma. Get those siesta taking, cigarette smoking, lazy low lifes out of the Euro. They are Two Percenters, meaning they make up only 2% of the Euro Zone GDP. That would be like the U.S. doing without the State of Washington.

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