‘Merkel delayed comments on Munich shooting, knowing Germans blame her for failed security’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin after a shooting rampage at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany July 23, 2016. © Stefanie Loos
German Chancellor Angela Merkel waited almost 24 hours to comment on the Munich shooting because of the immense pressure she’s put under at home for her inability to provide security for citizens, experts told RT.

Nine people were killed and 27 others injured at the Olympia mall in the capital of the German state of Bavaria on Friday by a shooter who later took his own life.

But Merkel’s public reaction to the attack came only midday on Saturday and contained the usual words of condolences to the victims and their families.    


Peter Schulze, professor of International Relations at the University of Goettingen, told RT that he was surprised not to hear from the German leader in the first hours after the Munich shooting.

I would have expected very soon the reaction of the Berlin government, especially of the chancellor. I don’t understand why this kind of hesitation is there,” Schulze said.

The Munich shooting was carried out by a troubled 18-year-old German citizen of Iranian origin, who had no connection to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) or any other jihadist group, the police said.

But it’s still a reminder that in Germany “security isn’t any more given, at least, this is a sentiment shared by millions of German citizens,” Schulze added.

There’s a deep frustration in society and we see, for example, that her [Merkel’s] ratings and polls have fallen dramatically… In public opinion somehow it’s connected to the last year’s influx of refugees,” the professor said.

According to a poll released by Die Welt magazine in mid-July, the chancellor is now supported by 48 percent of the German public. Merkel saw a rise in popularity after the Brexit vote in UK as her ratings stood at just 36 percent earlier, a survey by Insa showed.

Meanwhile, Schulze said, a fresh poll by ZDF showed that a record 75 percent of Germans expect more terror attacks in the country because of the refugee influx and Merkel’s ‘open door’ policy.

Despite some calls for the German leader to leave the office following the attack, Merkel “will not resign” because “there’s no successor in sight. And even if there was a successor, it would be kind of acceptance of her failure and she’ll never do this. Therefore, we’ll linger on with the situation,” Schulze explained.  

Hansjorg Mueller from the Alternative for Germany party has slammed Merkel’s silence, calling the German leader “a person without any emotions.”

Everything can crumble… every German could be destroyed – she will be silent. But as soon as one German citizen dares to defend his interests, she’ll cry of some kind of xenophobia. As long as Germans are the victims, she’s silent,” he said.

The German leadership refuses to admit it, but the country’s program of integration of Muslims has failed,” Mueller added.  

The Munich attacker “was born in Germany 18 years ago. But, obviously, he hated German culture and German citizens because he shot Germans,” he said.

Rainer Rupp, a former German intelligence officer turned publicist, said it was understandable that Merkel was in no hurry to make public comments on the shooting.

“It’s quite natural that she first wants to establish what’s going on. And for a long time we didn’t even have an idea if there were three shooters, if there was an organization behind it or not,” he said.

I’m no friend of hers, but I can understand it when one first wants to know [the details] … [not] to make rash statements in a highly politicized environment,” Rupp added.

Besides, taking into account her reaction to previous terror attacks, “nobody is going to believe” what Merkel says as “people made up their mind.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.