It is “the order of the day to obstruct this man with all that we represent,” said Martin Schulz, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main rival in September’s election.
Schulz, who was addressing an SPD event on Monday evening in Berlin, added that Europe offers the best protection for democracy, the economy and social cohesion.
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“Whoever does not confront these US policies makes themselves complicit,” said Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, also of the SPD, to the Rheinische Post on Tuesday.
Gabriel on Monday had harshly criticized Trump’s refusal to say whether he would uphold the 2015 Paris climate accord to cut global carbon emissions. The Foreign Minister said that “anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk”.
“The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union,” he said, judging that “the West has become smaller; at least it has become weaker”.
“We Europeans must fight for more climate protection, fewer weapons and against religious (fanaticism), otherwise the Middle East and Africa will be further destabilised,” Gabriel said.
Merkel was also critical of the US President, first declaring G7 climate talks with Trump to be “very unsatisfactory”, and then saying that the US and UK were no longer reliable partners.
“The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over,” she said.
Norbert Röttgen of Merkel’s CDU party called for Europeans to have more autonomy.
“Through what he has said, not said and through his behaviour, Donald Trump has called into question the foundation of the transatlantic community,” Röttgen said to Funke Mediengruppe.
“We should not make the mistake of mixing up Trump with the USA,” Röttgen added. “He is the sitting president, but he is not the USA.”
SPD parliamentary leader Thomas Oppermann said there must be collaboration between Berlin and Paris.
“We must quickly start a new initiative together for Germany and France, for a new start for Europe. Germany has with France’s new President Emmanuel Macron a great ally for a new Europe,” Oppermann told the Passauer Neue Presse on Tuesday.
Parliamentary chair of Die Linke (Left Party) Dietmar Bartsch spoke of a realignment of international relationships.
“It is long overdue to establish independent policies from the administration of Donald Trump,” Bartsch told the Nordwest-Zeitung on Tuesday. “The G7 format has definitely failed.”
But the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) warned not to overreact to Trump or reject the close economic ties with the US.
“The USA is our biggest export client,” DIHK president Eric Schweitzer told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.
“We buy and sell more than €150 billion each year in products and services with US businesses.”