In Wake Of Brexit Merkel Vows To Strengthen EU

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

Mrs Merkel also used the interview to defend her record on migration.

Last week, Turkey refused to give German lawmakers access to Bundeswehr troops serving on AWACS surveillance planes at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation base in Konya which had been scheduled for Monday.

Angel Merkel, who leads the centre-right CDU/CSU has led Germany since 2005. "For this, I have the same responsibility as Olaf Scholz does - and I'm not dodging", she added.

The German leader defended her fiscal police after her rival, Social Democrats candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz, pledged to increase public investment.

Germany has already earmarked billions of euros for schools, nurseries, hospitals and housing, but local authorities have so far spent only a fraction of that windfall due to planning bottlenecks.

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"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.

"In addition to the debt ceiling, we need a minimum speed for investments that preserve the fabric of our country", he said, according to Handelsblatt. "But we also must be able to get everything built on the ground". While the French leader lauded Germany for undertaking labor-market reforms in a newspaper interview earlier the same day, he signaled Germany's competitive strength also derived from imbalances in the euro area that had helped weaken other member states. Trading partners called on the government to invest more as a way of reducing its massive trade surplus, something US President Donald Trump has railed against.

"The long-sought limit of 200,000 refugees per year for Germany is necessary to ensure functional integration", the election manifesto says. A full fourth term would extend her chancellorship to 16 years through 2021.

Germany's current-account surplus has been on the receiving end of persistent criticism, including most recently from the International Monetary Fund and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Polls ahead of the September 24 election show Merkel in a strong position.

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