• Germany's news in English
 
Merkel blasts critics of UK as 'unacceptable'
Merkel with Cameron in February this year at a press conference in London. Photo: DPA

Merkel blasts critics of UK as 'unacceptable'

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.
   
Besides Cameron, leaders in Sweden, Hungary and, according to several European sources, the Netherlands and Finland are also hostile to Juncker.
 

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia
File photo: DPA

Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia

Camera traps have spotted a wolf for the second time in a month in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state environment ministry reported on Friday. READ  

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay
Paraguayan police on patrol in an area known to contain EPP rebels. File photo: DPA

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that two Germans living in Paraguay were kidnapped and killed earlier this week. READ  

AfD braces for busy conference weekend
"Vote AfD!" reads the flyover message. Photo: DPA

AfD braces for busy conference weekend

As leaders of the Germany's anti-Euro upstart party Alternative for Germany (AfD) prepare for its party conference this weekend, the potential for chaos is rising. READ  

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos
Snow in Oberharz. Photo: DPA

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos

UPDATE: Two people were rescued from avalanches as a blast of winter has taken Germany by surprise, while snow and ice accounted for several traffic accidents across the country on Friday. READ  

BND collects 220 million phone records a day
Photo: DPA

BND collects 220 million phone records a day

Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) collects 220 million pieces of information about foreign phone calls and SMS every day, Zeit Online reported on Friday. READ  

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers
Photo: DPA

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers

Germany temporarily hit the brakes Friday on applying its new minimum wage to foreign truck drivers transiting the country in a move welcomed by Poland, which vigorously opposed the system. READ  

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader

Foreign policy think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) gave Germany top marks in its annual check-up of EU member states released on Thursday. READ  

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years
Photo: DPA

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years

New figures released Friday by federal statistics office Destatis are numbers breweries can drink to, as German beer consumption saw its first year-on-year rise since 2006. READ  

Germany has thousands of uni spots open
Photo: DPA

Germany has thousands of uni spots open

New research published by Spiegel on Friday shows that there are thousands of university placesa unoccupied across the country, while certain hot spots cope with too much demand. READ  

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'
Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp at a press conference. Photo: DPA

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admits feeling the pressure as his side resume their fight to stay in Germany's top flight on Saturday at fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,462
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd