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Merkel reveals that she likes "nice eyes" on a man

Angela Merkel and the way she might look at you.

Image: AP Photo/Gero Breloer

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA Merkel has revealed that she likes a man with “nice eyes” and that she can go all night without sleep.

Go all night at a summit that is.

Speaking at a forum organised by women’s magazine Brigitte Merkel revealed that she has a “camel-like” ability to store energy for sleepless all-night summits.

Germany’s first female leader has been revealing more and more personal details about herself, which is being described as a tactical move in an election year.

She’s revealed that her grandfather was Polish and confessed to a weakness for men’s peepers.

AP Photo/Peter Morrison

AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

Merkel has also spoken about her early years in the former East Germany but insisted she never served as a propaganda secretary in its communist youth league.

Amid the eurozone debt troubles, Merkel has been vilified abroad and portrayed in a Hitler-esque pose for pushing austerity, and applauded at home for her prudent crisis management.

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But beyond the stereotypes, little was known about the 58-year-old, who is variously painted as dour and matronly by her detractors, and sharp and pragmatic by her fans.

This has changed in recent weeks as Merkel has opened the door, albeit just a crack further, on her private life.

Addressing her cautious governing style, often characterised as the politics of small steps not grand visions, she spoke about the importance of “silence, so you can then speak intelligently”.

Merkel also explained her habit of forming a diamond shape with her index fingers and thumbs in photo shoots as a way of solving the problem of where to put her hands.

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

At another event last Sunday, Merkel showcased her favourite movie, the 1973 tragicomic romance “The Legend of Paul and Paula” filmed in East Germany, where she grew up as the daughter of a left-leaning Lutheran pastor.

It is the period before the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall that has brought up some unscripted and less flattering claims, revived this week in the book “The First Life of Angela M.”, one of a raft of new biographies to hit the market.

Merkel has made no secret of her former membership in a communist youth organisation, which was normal at the time, but the authors claim that a young comrade Angela also served as a secretary for agitation and propaganda.

Confronted with the claim at the movie event, Merkel insisted that “I have never hidden anything” but also acknowledged that some facts may have stayed buried “because no-one has ever asked me about them”.

I can only rely on my memory here … Should something else come up, then one will be able to live with that too.

Biographers have pointed to Merkel’s youth in a totalitarian police state, where a careless phrase could wreck lives, as the reason she can hide her thoughts behind a poker face.

Analysts are split on whether the new carefully managed openness will help her win more hearts and minds.

Political scientist Gero Neugebauer of Berlin’s Free University said he saw the hand of Merkel’s campaign team seeking to soften her “closed” image as she competes against Social Democrat rival Peer Steinbrueck, who is proud of his political “straight talk” but guilty of occasional gaffes.

I think now she’s pushing a more personal image, but strategically I don’t think that’s smart.

He said German voters “don’t care about home stories” but choose politicians mostly along party lines and based on their leadership qualities.

They ask themselves, is she credible, is she assertive, is she trustworthy? They don’t care so much about what she eats, what she cooks, how she dresses.

- additional reporting by Emer McLysaght

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