• Germany's news in English

Merkel steps up pressure on Egypt's Mubarak

The Local · 31 Jan 2011, 09:29

Published: 31 Jan 2011 09:29 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The news came as other politicians from her centre-right coalition warned that Egypt could be sliding towards Islamist rule.

Merkel called for guarantees for the freedom to demonstrate and freedom of information as the two leaders discussed the crisis in detail, said spokesman Steffen Seibert in a statement.

"She once more urged the Egyptian security forces not to use violence on the demonstrators," he said.

She made clear that she expected the new government appointed by Mubarak this weekend to go through with the political and economic reforms he had announced.

Merkel had told Mubarak it was "indispensable to hold a dialogue with the population, particularly with the youth, and to meet their legitimate demand," Seibert added.

On Monday, daily Bild quoted coalition foreign policy experts saying that Egypt was in danger of drifting into a regime dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic political groups.

“At the moment it’s altogether unclear what the opposition in Egypt actually stands for,” said Philipp Mißfelder, foreign affairs spokesman for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union parliamentary wing. “It is questionable whether the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamists aren’t profiting from the protests – and steering the country in a different direction to that which we are hoping.”

The parliamentary spokesman for foreign affairs for the pro-business Free Democratic Union, Bijan Djir-Sarai, told Bild: “I fear that fundamentalist powers are exploiting the situation. They could drive Egypt in the wrong direction.”

He compared the situation to that of Iran in 1979, when an Islamic revolution overthrew the pro-western Shah and installed the regime that still governs today.

Earlier Sunday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Berlin backed Egypt's pro-democracy movement, urging authorities to take the protests seriously.

"The German government is on the side of those who are calling for democracy and human rights," his ministry quoted him as saying. "We do not yet know how political developments will unfold in Egypt. But one thing is clear, nothing will ever be the same as before," he added.

The protests in Egypt came "from the heart of society, particularly the younger generation and the middle class", he noted, and and must "for this reason be taken seriously."

The anti-government uprising raged for a sixth straight day in Egypt Sunday amid increasing lawlessness and mass jail breaks, with a death toll estimated at 125.

Story continues below…

Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Mubarak to avoid violence "at all costs" in a joint statement.

The three leaders called on Mubarak to commit to change in response to what they said were the "legitimate grievances" of his people.

AFP/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:10 January 31, 2011 by Frenemy
The way I see it, if Mubarak doesn't figure out a way to regain control of his country on of three things is going to happen:

a) Egypt miraculously morphs into a truly democratic nation with some pro-Western leader like El Baradei at the helm. (unlikely)

b) Free and fair elections are held and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood is swept into power on a wave of popular support (much like the ayatollahs in Iran in 1979). The West loses a key strategic ally in the region, oil prices skyrocket, and Israel is pretty much boned.

c) Egypt is politically gridlocked by elections and devolves into a failed state, thereby providing another lawless sanctuary to the extremists. Oh yeah, and the Suez is jeopardized (which would necessitate international intervention at some point).
15:34 January 31, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Have a good look, Germans. This is your future. Might be 100 years, might be, 25. Either way, this is where you'll end up, too.

and, weren't Egyptians 'Demanding' some Mummy returned last week? Lol. I hope Germans sent it back, and some Looter has it up on a certain one of the antique auction sites. I may have to bid. Some really nice Egyptian pieces going up over the weekend. I love me some Middle East history!
17:44 January 31, 2011 by William Thirteen
It was the bust of Nefertiti you were attempting to remember, not 'some Mummy'.
23:33 January 31, 2011 by jackwithtom
Mummy returned....

Now mummy awake all her childrens...
20:46 February 4, 2011 by DrGideonPolya
All decent people want to see democracy in Egypt, the immediate departure of the US-backed, pro-Israel dictator Mubarak. and the complete absence of violence.

However the comments of Merkel and Westerwelle - while useful and welcome - are profoundly hypocritical. Thus in Occupied Afghanistan where 0.3 million infants die avoidably each year under Occupation, German soldiers help maintain the Karzai dictatorship, this US puppet having been "elected" in an election in which he was the only candidate.

A key aspect of the dead hand of Anglo-American and Anglo-American-backed Apartheid Israeli domination of the Arab world is the deadly deprivation of 300 million Arabs outside the Gulf States. This has a dreadful consequence measured as avoidable mortality (excess mortality, excess deaths, avoidable death, deaths that did not have to happen) that can be measured using UN data as the difference between the actual deaths in a country and the deaths expected fro a decently governed, peaceful country with same demographics.

Annual avoidable mortality in Egypt under Mubarak has been 0.22% (2003 data), this meaning today that each year 180,000 Egyptians die avoidably from deprivation out of a population of 82 million and that about 16 million have died avoidably from deprivation since 1950 (see "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950").

The annual avoidable death rate of 0.22% for Egyptians under Mubarak can be compared with 0.0% (Arab Gulf States), 0.05% for Western Europe, 0.38% (South Asia), 0.97% (non-Arab Africa) and 1.8% (Indigenous Australians in Apartheid Australia).

Of acute relevance to the Egyptian tragedy is the 50% increase in international cereal grain prices in the last year (Google "World Food Situation").

Anglo-American-backed, genocidal colonization of Palestine, US-backed Israeli occupation of territory of all its neighbours, US backing of Arab dictators like Mubarak, and the Anglo-American-imposed Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide (4.4 million dead, 1990-2011) has devastated the Arab world.

Hopefully Egyptian democracy will be the beginning of the end of genocidal US imperialism and of racist Zionist Apartheid in Palestine.
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd