Merkel calls Eurovision winner 'example of young Germany'
Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated the German winner of the Eurovision Song Contest Sunday as a "wonderful example of the young Germany".
Merkel told the Bild newspaper in an advance copy of its Monday issue that she was thrilled by the "super success" of 19-year-old Lena, the second German to win the extravagant talent contest in its 55-year history.
"Lena strongly impressed me with her naturalness and warmth," the chancellor was quoted as saying. "She is a wonderful example of the young Germany."
In his own congratulatory remarks, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle hailed Lena's "rousing performance" that "dazzled Germany and sang you into the heart of Europe."
He said she had single-handedly given a boost to Germany's international image.
"Whether you wanted to be or not, you are an ambassador for our country who, in one night, charmingly disproved a few old stereotypes," he said.
Lena Meyer-Landrut, who just finished her final school exams, stunned the country by besting artists from 24 other countries Saturday night in Oslo with her catchy pop number "Satellite".
Germany last won the contest in 1982 and as this year's winner, will host the show in 2011.
© 2010 AFP