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Angela Merkel: EU cannot completely rely on US and Britain any more

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/28/merkel-says-eu-cannot-completely-rely-on-us-and-britain-any-more-g7-talks

Angela Merkel: EU cannot completely rely on US and Britain any more

 

Europe can no longer completely rely on its longstanding British and US allies, Angela Merkel has warned – saying the EU must now be prepared to “take its fate into its own hands”. Speaking after bruising meetings of Nato and the G7 group of wealthy nations last week, the German chancellor suggested the postwar western alliance had been badly undermined by the UK’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election as US president.

 

“The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over,” she told an election rally in Munich on Sunday. “I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.” The chancellor told a 2,500-strong crowd in the Bavarian capital that Germanyand Europe would naturally strive to remain on good terms with the US, Britain and other countries, “even with Russia”, but added: “We have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans.”

 

The two-day G7 summit in Italy pitted the US president – whom Merkel did not mention by name – against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues. The leaders vowed to fight protectionism, reiterating a “commitment to keep our markets open”; step up pressure on North Korea; cooperate more closely on terrorism; and look into placing tougher sanctions on Russia. But while six of the seven renewed their commitment to the 2015 Paris accord on climate change, Trump said he needed more time to decide.

During his election campaign, Trump frequently questioned the value of the EU, welcomed Britain’s vote to leave the bloc and spoke positively of anti-EU politicians such as the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Merkel said the result of the G7 talks, which she described as “six against one”, was “very difficult, if not to say very unsatisfactory”. Trump was more positive on Twitter, saying: “Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!” :rotfl::rotfl: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday, Trump repeated past accusations that other members of the alliance were failing to match America’s military spending commitment of 2% of GDP, saying this was “not fair” on US taxpayers. He failed to endorse the pact’s article five mutual defence clause – an omission seen as especially striking as he was unveiling a memorial to those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the US, the only time it has been triggered.

The US president reportedly described German trade practices as “bad, very bad” in separate talks in Brussels and complained that Germany, Europe’s largest economy, sells too many cars to the US. By contrast, Merkel said she wished the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, every success and promised Germany would do what it could to help France in a bid to revive the ailing Franco-German engine that long powered Europe.

“Where Germany can help, Germany will help,” she said to loud applause, “because Germany can only do well if Europe is doing well.”

 

Responding to Merkel’s plea for EU unity – potentially significant in view of Britain’s upcoming Brexit negotiations with the EU27 – the Liberal Democrats said they were the “inevitable outcome” of Theresa May’s decision to position herself closely with Trump. “The prime minister has allied herself with Donald Trump and these comments are the inevitable outcome,” Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said. “It doesn’t have to be this way; a vote for the Liberal Democrats can change Britain’s future.”

Merkel, who faces a delicate balancing act in seeking to preserve the transatlantic alliance while campaigning hard for re-election, was unusually blunt in her assessment of Trump’s refusal to commit on climate change – a key concern for many German voters. Polls show the chancellor, in power since 2005, is on course to be re-elected for a fourth term in September, with her lead in the polls over a revived Social Democrat opposition widening to double digits.

The Paris accords were “not just any old agreement, but a central agreement for shaping globalisation,” the German chancellor said, stressing that there were at present “no signs of whether the US will stay in the Paris accords or not”. Macron, however, was more optimistic about the relationship with Trump. “I met a leader who has strong convictions on a number of subjects, some of which I share, such as terrorism or upholding our rank in the league of nations,” the French president said.

“It was a first experience for both of us and he saw the interest of a multilateral discussion.” Macron added that the two days of wrangling represented “progress”, and refused to enter into a “logic” of six against one. “It’s not in our interest,” he said. “There are disagreements around the table. There was one on climate, but I hope we’ll reduce that gap. Mr Trump is a pragmatist and I’m hopeful that once he considers all the arguments we made and in the interests of his country he will confirm his commitment.”

 

 

 

 

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What's messed up is that Brexit and the US elections were so close, so in a way, she's right, but in a way, the U.S. and Britain still want to be united with our European allies (i.e. the 49% that voted against Brexit and 3 million more people that voted for Clinton).  I think what happened in Brexit / Trumpxit is short sided idiots fuming about something they don't understand, causing a series of events that they could not have predicted, and that given the current state of the world, would not repeat. I'm really looking forward for this excercise is idiocy to be over with so we can get back to the normal technocratic governments that are able to function with input from shit stirrers. 

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Trump's arrogance and grand standing in Brussels and subsequent dismissive tweets mentioning Germany shows he cares little about any other nation. He does not want to honour the Paris Climate change agreement and used his speech at Brussels to scold other nations and hijack the occasion to whine about America paying too much. His conduct was selfish, rude and greatly embarrassing for the people of the United States who had this ignorant fool representing them. 

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21 minutes ago, Jazzy Jan said:

Trump's arrogance and grand standing in Brussels and subsequent dismissive tweets mentioning Germany shows he cares little about any other nation. He does not want to honour the Paris Climate change agreement and used his speech at Brussels to scold other nations and hijack the occasion to whine about America paying too much. His conduct was selfish, rude and greatly embarrassing for the people of the United States who had this ignorant fool representing them. 

 

Totally

Sad times we are living through

 

 

 

 

Talking about trade deficit and military expenditure? The irony.

How about investing your country's $20 trillion dollar debt into non elitary education, good infrastructures and decent free healthcare for all rather than mindlessly and with complete unaccountability throwing it at fighting enemies of your own creation and whose only purpose is to keep the military industrial complex eternally well fed and running?? It's sheer madness

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40094882

How Angela Merkel is 'taking back control' - German style

 

Angela Merkel is "taking back control" - to borrow the wildly successful, emotive phrase coined by those in the UK campaigning to leave the EU last year. The German chancellor caused a storm this Sunday, particularly in the English-language press and Twittersphere, when she declared: "The era in which we could fully rely on others is over to some extent." But, contrary to the hysteria about "Iron Angie" signalling a slamming of European doors on Trump USA and Brexit UK, what I mean by her "taking back control" is this:

Like the UK's Leave campaigners, Angela Merkel is heading towards a vote. Though Germany isn't debating EU membership, it's in the run-up to an autumn general election. Mrs Merkel is now on the campaign trail and not at all above injecting some populism into her politics. President Trump is hugely unpopular among German voters and his failure to commit to the Paris climate accord, at the G7, and to Nato's Article Five last week angered many Europeans. Mrs Merkel's pointed comments about no longer being able to rely fully on allies were delivered to rapturous applause while on the campaign trail in the (conservatively) pumped arena of a Munich beer hall.

 

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Campaign Trail Merkel, as we'll call her for the moment, is also aware that German voters aren't just partial to a bit of Trump-thumping - but also to a full-on promotion of Europe. Liberal Europeans have felt immensely frustrated at the constant Brussels bashing by nationalist politicians over the past couple of years. Resentment has built up, too, over Russia seemingly being able to do whatever it wants in Crimea, Syria and the cyber-sphere despite supposed international norms. And there's real anger and fear about Donald Trump the Unpredictable, a man many in Europe judge to be ignorant about world politics, diplomacy and the workings of a democracy.

Germans believe more than ever now that Europe needs be assertive; to stick together and be strong together. They are feeling more confident, too, with pro-EU, pro-Merkel Emmanuel Macron as French president.

 

Can't go it alone

Enter Chancellor Merkel's emotive language à la "take back control', except what she says is "Europe needs to take its fate into its own hands". The Bavarian beer hall loved it, as do many Germans, giving Mrs Merkel that edge over her political rivals. However. Angela Merkel - political old hand and consummate pragmatist - has not been subsumed by Campaign Trail Merkel. Would she like to be able to safeguard the stability and safety of Europe without relying on what she regards as an unpredictable US and an unreliable UK?

Absolutely. She believes Europe must co-operate more on defence: pooling resources, spending military budgets more intelligently and bolstering itself as much as it can. But she knows full well that Europe can't go it alone. Certainly not Germany, with its post World War Two sensitivities about taking up arms. Britain leaving the EU means the bloc only has one military power left - the French one - and one seat on the UN Security Council. Nato is now more important than ever for EU safety.

Europe relies, too, on British intelligence and co-operation in fighting terrorism. Chancellor Merkel has been around the political block more than a few times, and she is not now biting the hand that feeds (bear in mind, too, America's huge importance for German business). Donald Trump may not be so sure about Nato, but the US vice-president and the defence secretary say they are fully committed.

And at Nato, the G7 and when she visited Donald Trump in Washington in March, Angela Merkel was diplomatic at all times, leaving snubs and small shows of strength to France's keen-to-prove himself presidential newbie, Emmanuel Macron.

When Angela Merkel says Europe needs to be take its fate in its own hands, she means keeping transatlantic links open and strong, but being politically, emotionally and - if possible - militarily prepared if it all falls apart. Rather than closing the door on the US, she hopes very much the US isn't turning its back on Europe.

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20 hours ago, Jazzy Jan said:

Trump's arrogance and grand standing in Brussels and subsequent dismissive tweets mentioning Germany shows he cares little about any other nation. He does not want to honour the Paris Climate change agreement and used his speech at Brussels to scold other nations and hijack the occasion to whine about America paying too much. His conduct was selfish, rude and greatly embarrassing for the people of the United States who had this ignorant fool representing them. 

Said the one who took far too much time off golfing since he entered office. Who the hell paid for all those traveling expenses?

Americans should get really pissed off against this shit head of a president, throw him out, but they are too stupid and chicken shit to do anything about it.

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Fuck the US and the UK frankly. May those two countries rot in the hell they deserve to be.

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1 hour ago, pjcowley said:

Said the one who took far too much time off golfing since he entered office. Who the hell paid for all those traveling expenses?

 

Exactly.  It seems as if he is allowed to do what he pleases.  He has a law unto himself.  I also find it a huge conflict of interest that he takes his daughter and son in law on international trips and they are part of his staff and advisors.  I bet the American taxpayer was paying for that as well. 

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These Merkel words are the most interesting thing that has happened in the EU in a long time,  because Europe has the most powerful economies and a incredibly large inner market and yet we are always depending on the US while in fact the US needs us big time. 

I do wonder what really happened during the G7,  to be fair.  We are only seeing a part of the picture.  

But omg if only the EU finally believed in herself.  Since the fall of the wall we've been drifting here and there. Never leading anything.  

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