Who are you? Merkel uses cheat sheet to read up on new Australian PM before G20 meeting
The internet has expressed solidarity with Angela Merkel after the German leader was seen reading up on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison before their G20 meeting. The land down under has cycled through five PMs since 2013.
Morrison, who became Australia’s 30th prime minister in August, had his debut meeting with the German chancellor at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But before the diplomatic pleasantries began, Merkel was spotted reviewing a briefing about Morrison – complete with a photograph – as the Australian leader sat next to her.
@ellinghausen captures Merkel reading up on the new Guy ahead of their meeting pic.twitter.com/wvmUj4emiS— Phillip Coorey (@PhillipCoorey) December 1, 2018
While some may view Merkel’s last-minute cramming as unrefined, social media users have rushed to her defense. After all, Morrison is Australia’s fifth prime minister since 2013. The turnover has been so rapid that Morrison has become the third Australian prime minister to attend a G20 summit in just four years.
“We’d all like to know who he is and why he’s there. Perhaps she could pass the notes around?” one inquisitive Twitter user asked.
I know it would be standard practice to have briefing notes but that really made me laugh. We’d all like to know who he is and why he’s there. Perhaps she could pass the notes around?— sheila elliott 🌈 (@newtraveller) December 1, 2018
December 1, 2018
Merkel has been Germany’s leader since 2005, meaning that her tenure as chancellor has spanned part of John Howard’s administration, then the reign of Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Rudd once more, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and now Morrison.
While the internet was forgiving of Merkel, the incident inspired some to jokingly imagine what Merkel’s cheat sheet said about Morrison.
it should of read, right wing happy clapper without a clue— flagellum dei (@mongrelWA) December 3, 2018
"#ScottMorrison but prefers #ScoMo. Has problem with #women - often ignores them, including his own female colleagues. Shouts a lot. When isn't getting own way, shouts even louder. In past week, has been cruel to schoolkids. Don't mention #ClimateChange" #insiders#auspolpic.twitter.com/1JVTiabP0P— Paul Vittles FMRS FAMI FRSA (@vittlesorg) December 1, 2018
December 2, 2018
Merkel’s untimely note-checking also led to some political blowback in Australia, with the Labor party – which is now polling ahead of Morrison’s center-right coalition – using it as ammunition.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham asked to outline the highlights of G20 for Australia. Labor heckles: "Angela Merkel! The Scott Morrison flashcards!" #SenateQT— Matt Coughlan (@CoughlanMatt) December 3, 2018
Merkel wasn’t the only world leader to be thrown off guard by Morrison’s presence in Buenos Aires. Their meeting came a day after the new Australian leader met with US President Donald Trump – who quizzed Morrison about what happened to his predecessor.
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