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The Merkel-Raute (German for "Merkel's rhombus") is what has been termed Merkel diamond or "Triangle of Power" by English-speaking media, a hand gesture made by resting one's hands in front of the stomach so that the fingertips meet, with the thumbs and index fingers forming a rough quadrangular shape. This signature gesture of Angela Merkel, the current German Chancellor, has been described as "probably one of the most recognisable hand gestures in the world".
Asked about how the Merkel-Raute was introduced as her trademark, Merkel stated that "there was always the question, what to do with your arms, and that's how it came about." She chose the gesture without having been assisted by a counsellor because "it contains a certain symmetry."
The stereotypical gesture was originally used in order to ridicule Angela Merkel and her government. Most notably, it is found with comedians impersonating her, combined with the colorful jackets she is usually seen wearing. In Jan Philipp Gloger's staging of The Flying Dutchman, which premiered during the 2013 Bayreuth Festival, the Merkel-Raute is used as a criticism of capitalism: During the performance, the gesture is shown as the distinctive mark of a nameless, synchronized elite of bankers and managers.
When used by her own party (the conservative Christian Democratic Union), the gesture is intended as a political symbol for Merkel's (presumed) unagitated leadership. On 2 September 2013, near the climax of the campaign for the 2013 federal election, the CDU unveiled a giant banner greeting travellers at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, which was displayed on two sides of a hotel building under construction, taking up a total space of nearly 2,400 square meters (26,000 sq ft). The photographic mosaic was made up of 2,150 images of the hands of CDU supporters and shows nothing but Merkel's hands forming the Raute, next to the slogan "(Put) Germany's future in good hands" (German: Deutschlands Zukunft in guten Händen). According to Hermann Gröhe, the manager of the CDU election campaign, the billboard would perfectly “embody our election message.”
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