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Merkel: We need a strong Britain in EU

The Local · 26 Mar 2012, 08:32

Published: 26 Mar 2012 08:32 GMT+02:00

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She also reiterated her support for Britain's strong presence in the EU, despite Prime Minister David Cameron's move to block a new fiscal pact in December.

In the interview with the BBC's "Newsnight" TV programme on Monday, Merkel said: "Britain needs to know that we in Germany want a strong Britain in the EU, we always have and we always will."

She said Athens had a "long and arduous road" to recovery after being forced to seek two international rescue packages, but it would be a "huge political mistake to allow Greece to leave" the single European currency.

"We have taken the decision to be in a currency union. This is not only a monetary decision it is a political one," Merkel said in a BBC interview, speaking in German through a translator.

"It would be catastrophic if we were to say (to) one of those who have decided to be with us, 'We no longer want you.'

"Incidentally the (European Union) treaties don't allow for that anyway. People all over the world would ask, 'Who will be next?' The Euro area would be incredibly weakened."

Asked about the emergence of anti-German sentiment over Berlin's leading role in dealing with the debt crisis, Merkel said: "The European discussion over the euro has become almost domestic politics.

"We debate very harshly in our parliaments and we use tough words. That has characterised Europe-wide debates too."

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But she added: "Thankfully we have learnt to solve our conflicts peacefully, to talk about them and to turn this crisis into opportunity."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:38 March 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Angie, you need to put a little more German money where your mouth is. Germany is the biggest economy in the EU and gains the most from the EURO whilst pushing small countries into measures that they cannot sustain and only cause their own economies to shrink.
07:31 March 29, 2012 by Sastry.M
Continental Europeans suffered horrors during the past two WW's and should inculcate true empathy and spirit of commonalty in the face of economic crises of smaller nations. If the British can shed their inhibitions and sum up courage to support overcome the European woes with an open heart and a true sense of ethnic reconciliation with people of German States, a road map for lasting peace can definitely be drawn up.
19:46 March 29, 2012 by Englishted

Britain has a deep distrust of may things to do with the E.U. .I don't believe it has base in racism against any European country unless you believe the tabloid press which can and do often make xenophobic headlines.

What I although I can only speak for myself is a much,much more democratic E.U. with the electorate of Europe being asked as a whole on issues that concern us all .This simple does not happen at the moment they (the electorate ) were not consulted on expansion,the Euro ,border controls etc .

Britain also tends to follow the rules and so has seen some what they feel are truly stupid rulings coming out of the E.U. courts (as has Germany ),I have a fear that it is possible that if things don't change within the E.U. a national vote would be very close as to whether we stay or go.

Amazingly I find myself agreeing with our elected leader in Germany we do need a strong G.B. in Europe but the clock is ticking.
07:52 March 30, 2012 by Sastry.M

Thanks for your view which appears true to the present E.U situation. However the British isles belong basically to the main European continent. The U.K population, predominantly domiciled west Germanic Anglo-Saxon along with aboriginal Celtic of Britannia, makes up for the true soul expression of free European spirit. Although conquered and exploited by Continental Europeans, the British developed a unique characteristic of prudence vested with patience,forbearance and sagacity of purpose. These virtuous characteristics did not stand to good stead in turmoils at home, as lamented by Goldsmith in the "Deserted Village". They did help as a solace of service in far off dominions as evidenced by the astuteness of public administration both at home (yes minister t.v series) as well as various public works undertaken in colonies.

The ethnic reconciliation I refer to is the consonance of spirit common to all Germanic people. Even during the height of ww2 British bombing on German cities, the plays of Milton and Shakespeare continued unstopped in German theaters and the unabated ovation of German artists (Brecht) by the British public.

Now it is time for the English to secure the common medium of language expression and human experience gained internationally during good times of British Empire to direct for the benefit of European cooperation in the habitat which they themselves inextricably belong to
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