In the cacophony of the euro zone debt crisis, there are some voices that matter. Eurogroup chair Jean-Claude Juncker. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. EU Commissioner Olli Rehn. And, of course, "@Queen_Europe,” a.k.a. the Twitter artist formerly known as "@Angela_d_Merkel.”
The spoof Twitteraccount of the “very exasperated” German Chancellor has been providing caustic commentary on the crisis as it unfolded from European Union summits to elections, with references to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandalto Silvio Berlusconi's “bunga-bunga” partiesthrown in along the way.
The account gained more than 26,000 followers but was suddenly suspended by Twitter on May 7, prompting shock and outrage among the faithful.
"@Angela_d_Merkel was suspended by Twitter - Eurozone is doomed. This is the end," wrote @FGoria. #ENDOFTHEWORLD
"@Angela_d_Merkel was suspended by twitter !!! #drama,” said @marta_tweet.
Just hours later, the account seemed reborn as @Angela_2_Merkel, but avid readers soon noted a difference in tone, raising suspicions about its veracity. Those suspicions were confirmed by the lady herself on her “official” website, as she advised followers to “check back here for updates and remember, ACCEPT NO FAKE FAKES (that means you @Angela_"2"_Merkel).”
By May 8, the queen of satire had seemingly reclaimed her throne, this time as @Queen_Europe. The trademark wit was apparent from the first tweet: "Well, now I know how @NicolasSarkozy feels. #rejected." By early Wednesday, the account had accumulated more than 850 followers as word spread across the Twittersphere that the true fake @Angela_d_Merkel was back in action.
Of course, the big question remains: Who is behind the account? Suspicions point to a member of the Brussels press corps, given the detailed knowledge of EU gatherings, quite possibly British (who else would use the word “sodding” in their profile?). But for the moment, those following the new @Queen_Europe are just relieved that she is back to guide the euro zone through what could be a tumultuous few months.
@Angela_d_Merkel is dead. Long live @Queen_Europe.