Monday, September 25, 2017 | ePaper

Brexit, French poll changed my view on Europe: Merkel

  • Print


Reuters, Germany :
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told voters today that Britain's decision to leave the European Union and France's election of President Emmanuel Macron had changed her view on the bloc, adding it was worth fighting for a stronger Europe.
Merkel's comments, made in a speech in the Baltic Sea resort town of Zingst two months before a federal election, underline her personal determination to deepen European integration if she is re-elected for a fourth term.
Calling European Union membership one of Germany's biggest strengths, Merkel said last year's Brexit decision and elections in France and the Netherlands, in which pro-European parties defeated populist candidates, had changed her perspective.
"For many people, including myself, something changed when we saw the Britons want to leave, when we were worried about the outcome of the elections in France and the Netherlands," Merkel told voters, some of whom wore straw hats with black-red-and-gold hatbands, the colours of the German flag.
The centre-right chancellor admitted that the EU was far from perfect and that Brussels sometimes was too bureaucratic.
"But we have realized in the past few months that Europe is more than just bureaucracy and economic regulation, that Europe and living together in the European Union have something to do with war and peace, that the decades of peace after World War Two would have been completely unthinkable without the European Union," Merkel said to applause.
Many people in the past had taken the EU and its advantages for granted-such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to travel, said Merkel who grew up in communist East Germany.
"You don't have all this in many parts of the world. And that's why it is worth fighting for this Europe," Merkel said.
"That's why one of our election placards is saying: If Europe is stronger, and then Germany will be stronger. This is directly related."
Merkel has said she is open to proposals of strengthening the single currency through the creation of a euro zone finance minister who would oversee a pooled budget for investments and transfers intended to help member states cushion downturns.

More News For this Category

Syrian army captures 44 towns, villages from IS in two weeks

Syrian army captures 44 towns, villages from IS in two weeks

Xinhua, Damascus :The Syrian army and allied fighters have captured 44 towns and villages in central and eastern Syria from Islamic State (IS) militants since Sept. 10, state news

Macron's popularity improving: Poll

Macron's popularity improving: Poll

Reuters, ParisĀ  :Fewer French voters are dissatisfied with Emmanuel Macron's performance, a poll showed on Sunday, halting a recent slide in the popularity ratings of the French president in

Fighter jets, drones on table as Mattis visits key ally India

Fighter jets, drones on table as Mattis visits key ally India

AFP, New Delhi :Fighter jets, drone deals and shared concerns over Afghanistan's security look set to dominate the agenda when US Defense Secretary James Mattis visits India this week.Mattis

News In Brief

Iran launches war games near Iraqi Kurdistan borderReuters, Dubai Iranian forces have launched war games in an area near the border with Iraq's Kurdistan region, Iran's state media reported

Missile strike on US inevitable: N Korean FM

Missile strike on US inevitable: N Korean FM

AP, United Nations :North Korea's foreign minister told world leaders Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump's insult calling leader Kim Jong Un "rocket man" makes "our rocket's visit to

Duterte says he became local millionaire due to inheritance

AP, Davao :The Philippine president says he became a local millionaire at a young age due to inheritance and reiterated he has no unexplained wealth as alleged by his

Russia urges calm as US, North Korea tempers flare

Russia urges calm as US, North Korea tempers flare

Reuters, United Nations :Russia urged "hot heads" to calm down on Friday as the United States admitted it felt "challenged" by North Korea's warning that it could test a

Kurds press historic independence vote despite regional fears

Kurds press historic independence vote despite regional fears

Reuters, Erbil :Iraqi Kurds are expected to vote for independence in a referendum on Monday that neighboring countries and Western powers fear could break up the country and stir

News In Brief

Iran tests new missile defying US warningsAFP, TehranIran said on Saturday that it had successfully tested a new medium-range missile in defiance of warnings from Washington that it was

US election hacking impacted 21 states, Fed confirm

US election hacking impacted 21 states, Fed confirm

AP, Florida ;The federal government on Friday told election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems before last year's presidential election.The notification came roughly a year after