• 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
Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record as wins Berlin marathon
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,643
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd