Angela Merkel says Europe 'must take fate into its own hands'

30 May, 2017, 06:35 | Author: Essie Rivera

Merkel, addressing a election campaign at a beer tent in Germany's southern state of Bavaria, said following the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and Brexit, Europeans "really have to take destiny into their own hands".

Mrs Merkel is on the campaign trail ahead of elections in September.

" The times in which [Germany] could fully rely on others are partly over".

Merkel did not mention by name US President Donald Trump, who criticized major North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and refused to endorse a global climate change accord, but she told a packed beer tent in Munich that the days when Europe could completely count on others were "over to a certain extent", Reuters reports. "NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they're supposed to be paying for their defense", Trump said.

After the G7 summit, Merkel called the climate talks "very hard, if not to say, very unsatisfactory".

"And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands - of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russian Federation".

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"But we have to wage our own fight for our future, as Europeans, for our fate".

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany, led by Merkel, got 38 percent of the voter support while the Social Democratic Party (SPD), headed by ex-President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, fell to 25 percent, according to the opinion poll designed by research institute Emnid and local media Bild am Sonntag. Trump also went against the grain at the G7 as the only leader not to endorse more efforts against climate change.

Perhaps unintentionally, it meant Merkel had left some wondering whether she had just announced the end of the trans-Atlantic alliance.

And in Brussels, a spokesman for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker noted that Europe has always been working on ways to forge its own destiny. France has a new president who shares her pro free-trade, Europhile values, so there is a positive feeling in Europe that the EU's Franco-German motor is back in business.

Were Merkel to signal a German pivot away from the US, she would hardly choose a Bavarian beer party as the venue.

"You don't want to be sitting too comfortably in Trump's boat, or in Trump's boat at all, because Trump's not liked here", she said. But it seems that Mrs Merkel has decided that standing up for the European Union will only strengthen her chances of winning another term in September.

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