Published: Wed, May 31, 2017
Local | By Adrian Hale

Trump repeats criticism of Germany, Merkel stands by stance


On Germany Visit, PM Narendra Modi flew Germany on Monday evening and met Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

May 27, 2017: At the Group of Seven summit in Italy, Trump refused to participate in Paris Agreement.

"The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days", she argued.

"With change comes insecurity, skepticism ... and, not infrequently, the glorification of the supposedly good old days", Merkel said. "We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands". How significant do you think her remarks are? And that was what she was telling her German audience. Although the possibility of a Schulz chancellery has become less and less likely after poor showings by the Social Democrats in recent regional elections, the center-left's animosity toward Trump is broadly shared by many German voters.

During a speech Monday in Berlin, Merkel did not specifically mention Trump but quoted a 1963 speech by former President John F. Kennedy in Frankfurt, where he told the audience "those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future".

Political tensions have been rising since the US president was inaugurated in January 2017.

"Donald Trump is making clear with his tweet that he considers Germany a political opponent", Oppermann said.

Modi also stated that "India and Germany are made for each other".

But the G7 summit showed that this strategy may not work.

The prime minister praised Merkel's "strong leadership" and said a EU-focused vision is what the world needed.

Despite her dismay at the direction Trump is taking, Merkel was also at pains to underline the importance of United States relations.

German officials described the dynamic between the two at the G7 summit as excellent.

HM: Who is she sending the message to?

Her comments were more measured compared to what she said over the weekend in a Munich beer tent. "She is testing the waters for a more forthcoming policy towards France".

"Because trans-Atlantic relations are so important to this chancellor, it is right from her viewpoint to speak out honestly about differences". Berlin fears the British government still has unrealistic expectations about Brexit.

In response to Merkel's comments, Britain said it would be a "strong partner" to Germany.

The frustrations began in Brussels when Trump renewed his attack on Germany's trade surplus and vehicle exports in a private meeting with European Union officials. The consultations also touched upon Afghanistan and other global matters.

Trump has vowed to decide this week whether to pull the U.S. out of the Paris framework on climate change but left his counterparts in the G7 with no idea of which way he was leaning. This is Prime Minister Modi's second bilateral visit to Germany. A subseqent report by Axios, Trump privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that "he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change" which will likely further infurate his European allies.

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