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In gloomy mood, Germany picks 'crisis mode' as word of the year

FILE PHOTO: Facade lighting of landmarks in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - "Crisis mode" is Germany's 2023 word of the year, a jury of linguists announced on Friday, capturing the mood of a public fretting over multiple crises from wars in Ukraine and Gaza, to climate change, inflation and a government with no budget plan.

"There have always been crises," the state-funded Society for the German Language (GfdS) said, explaining its choice of "Krisenmodus". "But it feels like there is so much crisis that this is the new normal."

The society's long list of issues rattling nerves included wars abroad, a property crash in Europe and worsening performance in the nation's education system.

The coalition government is also facing a crisis after its budget plans were torn up by a constitutional court ruling last month that banned the use of special funds to finance a raft of measures from industrial projects to welfare.

Since then, the government has been in talks on whether to make billions in cuts or suspend the country's "debt brake" in 2024 for the fifth year in a row - which under the constitution can only be done in emergency situations.

"Feelings such as uncertainty, fear, anger, helplessness and powerlessness characterise the everyday lives of many people," the language society said in a statement.

"Between apathy and alarmism, it is difficult to find an appropriate way of dealing with the ongoing exceptional situations."

(Reporting by Rachel More; Editing by Miranda Murray and Frances Kerry)