“Perhaps countries don’t always get the leaders they deserve. But the coronavirus pandemic has made it very clear what these leaders are,” wrote Paul Taylor, a columnist for the European edition of Politico. In his opinion, when hospitals in Europe and the U.S. are overcrowded and countries are locked up, the best and worst features of heads of state and government appear in an atmosphere of great tension.
Thus, U.S. President Donald Trump, in his opinion, “thanks to the crisis, discovered his narcissism, ignorance, and inconsistency.
“His demonstrative inability to delve into details or to distinguish between what he wants and what he wants is driving the White House counselors behind him. At other times, the world would have turned to the United States for leadership, but Trump is too busy looking for enemies and trying to pretend that he is the unifying leader of the nation and the statesman of a planetary scale. It turns out that “America first” is an indecent gesture to the rest of the world,” writes Politico.
In France, according to Paul Taylor, the situation so far looks better. President Emmanuelle Macron “declared war on an invisible enemy in two long televised messages from his office at the Elysian Palace.
The journalist notes that the French president “did not hesitate to order the police and gendarmes to enforce the ban on unjustified exit from the house, with draconian fines, which in more libertarian countries could become fatal. In addition, the Politico editorial team praised his decision to suspend the critical pension reform during the crisis. “His promise to support business and citizens “at all costs” is exactly what the French expected from the president of their country,” says the edition. According to the author, “Macron is now taking a political second breath as a ‘conductor’ of a large state.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel feels like a fish in water in this situation.
Her moderate leadership style contrasts with the belligerent tone of Paris and London and the complacency of Washington. She did not end her television appearance with a solemn “God Bless America” or a wind-raising “Long Live the Republic! Long live France!”, but to the humble: “Take care of yourself and your loved ones.” Politico believes: “Even though she was quarantined after communicating with an infected doctor, the coronavirus paradoxically breathed new life into her politics just as she seemed to have finally died out after 15 years as chancellor.
The most unexpected “star” of the crisis, according to the publication, was the head of the Italian government, non-partisan law professor Giuseppe Conte.
“Quiet anti-crisis management of the Prime Minister of Italy, a European country with high debt, in addition, the most severely affected by the coronavirus, proves the fallacy of Mussolini’s claim that “to manage the Italians is not difficult, but pointless,” – says the author of the study. He recalls that Conte made a bold decision to force people to self-isolation, while many in Europe have refused to take such a step, considering it excessive. In his television messages, he promised to take care of the citizens and asked them to temporarily sacrifice their freedom. “Together we will breakthrough,” he concluded in his last speech.