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POLITICS

US ambassador to Germany set to leave post

Germany's US ambassador Richard Grenell is planning on leaving his post in the coming weeks after a controversial two-year stay in Berlin, reported DPA on Monday.

US ambassador to Germany set to leave post
Richard Grenell assuming his post at Berlin's Bellevue Palace in May 2018. Photo: DPA

Grenell is also leaving his position as the US's acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI), according to reports.

The 53-year-old’s official duties will then temporarily be taken over by Robin Quinville, who has been deputy chief of mission at the embassy since July 2018.

READ ALSO: Trump ally Richard Grenell takes over as US envoy to Germany

Since taking office as ambassador in Berlin, Grenell – a close confidant of US president Donald Trump – has generated a lot of attention through sharp criticism the German government and its foreign policy. 

Mostly via Twitter, Grenell often broke the rule of keeping diplomatic dealings behind closed doors, wrote Spiegel Online on Monday.

He made comments that the German defence expenditure was too low, criticised Germany's trade relationship with Iran and questioned whether Chinese company Huawei should be involved in building the German 5G network, among other things.

Grenell's comments led both politicians from far-left Die Linke (The Left) and some members of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) to demand that he be expelled from his post.

READ ALSO: 'Die Linke' demands Berlin expel outspoken Berlin ambassador

On Monday, some stated that they hope for an improvement in diplomatic relations between Germany and the US following his departure. 

“Grenell has long been primarily concerned with other matters connected to his presence in Washington. So his resignation is logical,” said Green foreign policy expert Omid Nouripour to the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland on Monday.

The head of the Left parliamentary group, Dietmar Bartsch, said: “A US ambassador, who is also an ambassador and not a politician, could be useful as Grenell's successor.”

According to DPA, Grenell will vacate his post as ambassador in Berlin within the next few weeks after U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe, also a strong ally of President Trump, assumes the role as permanent Director of National Intelligence.

Grenell took to Twitter on Sunday to send thanks to positive farewell messages he had received.

Yet he also responded to comments that a collective sigh of relief is going through Germany, by saying: “You make a big mistake if you think the American pressure is off. You don’t know Americans.”

 

Member comments

  1. Good Riddance.
    But any replacement will be a Trumplet, so I don’t expect anything better than this waste of space

  2. Richard is by far the best American ambassador to Germany in my own lifetime. President Trump was truly inspired to choose Richard. I love Angela Merkel, and America and Germany are fast friends; but there ARE some things we DO need to address!

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POLITICS

Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

Germany will reinstate its so-called debt brake in 2023 after suspending it for three years to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, sources in the finance ministry said Wednesday.

Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The government will borrow 17.2 billion euros ($18.1 million) next year, adhering to the rule enshrined in the constitution that normally limits

Germany’s public deficit to 0.35 percent of overall annual economic output, despite new spending as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the sources said.

The new borrowing set out in a draft budget to be presented to the cabinet on Friday is almost 10 billion euros higher than a previous figure for 2023 announced in April.

However, “despite a considerable increase in costs, the debt brake will be respected,” one of the sources said.

Although Germany is traditionally a frugal nation, the government broke its own debt rules at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and unleashed vast financial aid to steer the economy through the crisis.

READ ALSO: Debt-averse Germany to take on new borrowings to soften pandemic blow

The government has this year unveiled a multi-billion-euro support package to help companies in Europe’s biggest economy weather the fallout from the Ukraine war and sanctions against Russia.

Berlin has also spent billions to diversify its energy supply to reduce its dependence on Russia, as well as investing heavily in plans to tackle climate change and push digital technology.

But despite the additional spending, Finance Minister Christian Lindner has maintained the aim to reinstate the debt brake in 2023.

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