• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Merkel blasts critics of UK as 'unacceptable'

AFP · 4 Jun 2014, 15:24

Published: 04 Jun 2014 15:24 GMT+02:00

Merkel told parliament that while she was aware of London's objections to her favoured candidate to become the EU Commission's next president, former Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker, she hoped the dispute would not come to a head.

"I don't share these reservations but I must say just as clearly that I consider it grossly irresponsible, and actually unacceptable, how nonchalantly some say that it doesn't matter whether Britain agrees or not, or even whether Britain remains an EU member or not," she said.
   
Merkel said she was "anything but indifferent" about London's future in the bloc, saying that while Britain had clearly gained from its membership, the EU has benefited as well.
   
"Yes, Britain is not a compliant partner," she said. "[But] despite all the differences, Germany and Britain share values and interests. We pursue shared goals, above all the goal of a strong, competitive European Union."
   
Germany's leading news magazine Der Spiegel said in a strongly worded editorial this week that Britain had "blackmailed and made a fool out of the EU for years" and should now decide once and for all whether it wanted to remain a member.
   
The piece echoed widespread frustration in Berlin over a perception that Britain has grown increasingly critical of the EU, seeking to "cherry pick" the benefits of membership while resisting its responsibilities.
   
The editorial accompanied a report in the magazine that Cameron had told Merkel that picking Juncker would "destabilize his government" and force him to bring forward a referendum on whether to exit the EU.
   
Despite her conciliatory tone, Merkel reiterated in Wednesday's speech that she was pressing for Juncker to take the reins at the Commission in her negotiations with European partners.
   
And she stressed that there did not need to be unanimity on the decision, only a qualified majority of EU member states.
   
Cameron is deeply wary of Juncker, an EU federalist, particularly after his
party suffered a humiliating defeat to the eurosceptic UKIP party in last month's European elections.
   
Story continues below…
Besides Cameron, leaders in Sweden, Hungary and, according to several European sources, the Netherlands and Finland are also hostile to Juncker.
 

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ansbach suicide attack
Isis says Syrian bomber in Bavaria one of its 'soldiers'
Photo: DPA

The Syrian asylum seeker who blew himself up outside a music festival in Germany was a "soldier" of the Isis, the jihadist-linked Amaq news agency said on Monday.

Merkel's refugee policy was 'reckless': Left Party leader
Photo: DPA

The attacks carried out by refugees over the past week show accepting large numbers of refugees brings "significant problems", the party's chairwoman said on Monday.

Ansbach suicide attack
What we know about the Ansbach suicide bomber
The attacker's rucksack. Photo: DPA

He had had his asylum application rejected and had twice attempted suicide, say authorities.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach suicide bomber confirms Isis loyalty in video
Police remove evidence from the bombers residence. Photo: DPA

The man who blew himself up in Ansbach, Bavaria, on Sunday evening, injuring 15 people, recorded a video in which he pledged his allegiance to terror group Isis.

Top 10 German firms with the highest-paid employees
Photo: DPA

Want to know which companies shell out the most for salaries?

How will Germany change after string of bloody attacks?
A policeman in Ansbach on Sunday evening. Photo: DPA

Within seven days Germany has been hit by four bloody attacks on innocent people on its streets and in a train. What does this unprecedented string of murders mean for the country?

After attacks, minister rejects blanket suspicion of refugees
Thomas de Maiziere. Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Monday cautioned Germans against indiscriminately branding all refugees a security threat after a rash of attacks over the last week.

What we know about the Reutlingen knife attack
Police arrest the attacker. Photo: DPA

... and what we don't.

Munich shooting
Police arrest possible accomplice of Munich gunman
Mourners in Munich. Photo: DPA

Authorities in Munich believe that a friend of the teenager who murdered nine people at a Munich shopping centre may have known about his plans.

Ansbach suicide attack
Suicide bomber attacks bar in Bavaria
Photo: DPA

A Syrian migrant set off an explosion at a bar in southern Germany that killed himself and wounded a dozen others late Sunday, authorities said, the third attack to hit Bavaria in a week.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,692
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd