European Union: Rules are written for a reason says Olaf Scholz
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His evaluation came after the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz repeatedly posed in photos with an outstretched hand at the presentation of the coalition agreement between the traffic light parties on Wednesday. Speaking about the pose, body language expert Stefan Verra said: “In the last few days we saw Olaf Scholz again and again with an outstretched arm and index finger pointing away from himself. Apparently, he wants to point towards an imaginary audience or towards the cameras.
“This very much reminds me of American politicians as well as musicians.
“Because the thought behind this gesture is that it establishes contact to people across long distances, especially if this is a group of people.
“Everybody knows this, when you go to a rock or pop concert and the musician points towards the respective direction in the audience you have the feeling of: ‘he means me!’ And this is the thought behind it.”
The expert said that many US politicians, especially Donald Trump, use such a gesture.
But he questioned whether it worked for Mr Scholz, describing it as “disconcerting” on the German politician.
Speaking to FOCUS Online, he said: “If we look at politicians who do this a lot, Hillary Clinton uses this a lot, Obama uses this a lot and Donald Trump uses this gesture especially often, we recognise they have different dimensions when it comes to their gestures.
“They extend their hands much further and therefore the extending of the arms blends in well with their body language style.
“Olaf Scholz, on the other hand, has a very small dimension, meaning he keeps his arms and extremities very close to his body.
“Even if he gestures with his arm he tends to bring it back to his core as fast as possible.
“But if he is now encouraged to use this expansive gesture, it doesn’t blend with his character, his body language style. It’s disconcerting.
“And therefore I would suggest that Olaf Scholz takes advice from advisers who first take a look at his character and don’t immediately look across the big pond to imitate what they are doing there.
“Just imagine Angela Merkel would enter a stage and would suddenly point at the audience with outstretched arms.
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“We would think that it’s time for her to step down.
“And therefore, Olaf Scholz’s character needs to be supported by his gestures, by his facial expressions, because only then will he appear authentic. And what he says will then be more believable.”
Mr Scholz will take over as German Chancellor after his party signed a deal with the Greens and the Free Democrats, nearly two months after the social democrats won federal elections in September.
The change in Chancellor will mark the end of Mrs Merkel’s 16 years in office.
Mr Scholz won Germany’s general election after serving as deputy to Mrs Merkel for three years.
Despite standing as a candidate for the rival Social Democratic Party (SPD), the former mayor of Hamburg promised voters continuity after 16 years under the conservative Mrs Merkel.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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