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Merkel on YouTube

July 10, 2015

She once famously called the Internet "new territory." But now the German Chancellor is giving a first-of-its-kind interview with one of the Internet's biggest names: German YouTube star LeFloid.

LeFloid, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Florian Mundt - aka LeFloid - regularly interviews top politicians, but his chat with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, July 10, marks a first for both sides. With 2.6 million subscribers and an estimated 15,000 daily comments, LeFloid is one of Germany's most successful YouTube stars.

With his twice weekly news format, the 27-year-old has become the voice of a generation that has long said adieu to newspapers and fixed-time TV broadcasts. Apart from politics, LeFloid also discussed science and pop culture, saying, "So much is happening in the world! Whether it's funny, terrible, to scream about, or just unbelievable - let's talk about it!"

While Merkel has yet to give a YouTube interview, she does offer regular podcasts on her own YouTube channel. Since they usually rake in three-to-four-figure click counts, the chat with LeFloid represents an opportunity for her to reach a broad - and especially younger - audience.

And Germany's younger generations are set to be the focus of the YouTube talk. As is typical for LeFloid's interviews, fans can submit question beforehand, this time with the hashtag #NetzFragtMerkel (Net asks Merkel). A number of English-language questions have also been submitted. Some of the topics deal with tough social issues.

Many of the questions focus on current issues like the legalization of cannabis and especially gay marriage, following the Supreme Court approval of gay marriage in the United States on June 26, 2015. Same-sex partnerships are currently recognized in Germany, while gay marriage is not.

And others are good for a laugh - or at least a giggle. "What did you think of Nintendo's E3," writes Domtendo.

"LeFloid manages better than nearly any other German YouTuber to discuss political issues with his young audience," said a government spokesperson. While the interview will be conducted on July 10, LeFloid plans to publish it on YouTube on Monday, July 13.

kbm/jgt (AFP, dpa)