Friday, 23 Oct 2020

Angela Merkel’s biggest challenge exposed as German Chancellor faces EU backlash

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Constanze Stelzenmüller told Euronews’ Brussels correspondent Stefan Grobe that up to four nations will need to be convinced to accept the economic recovery plan herself and President Macron have put forward. Mr Grobe questioned whether Merkel is seen as a lame-duck due to the announcement of her retirement next year.  

Ms Stelzenmüller said: “Her most immediate challenge still is convincing the so-called frugal four countries that they should accept her and Macron’s European recovery plan which includes common European bonds.”

Mr Grobe replied: “Now it is Merkel’s second council presidency after 2007 where she played a central role in the negotiation of the treaty of Lisbon.

“Could she be the saviour of Europe again or is she a lame-duck now that she has already announced her retirement for next year?”

Ms Stelzenmüller said: “I think the lame-duck thing has been somewhat disproven by her management of the pandemic.”

Earlier this month German MEP Jörg Meuthen unleashed a scathing attack on the European Commission’s bailout plan during the European Parliament’s plenary session.

Mr Meuthen slammed the European Union’s recovery package as nonsense and praised Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden for all refusing to agree to the bailout. 

The German MEP said: “I think Chancellor Merkel was very clear when she said there wouldn’t be any corona bonds or Euro bonds but now, we have this recovery fund providing grants of €5million.

“We have taxpayers who are financing this money on behalf of the European Commission without any proper legal basis.

“This does not seem to bother anybody though.

“You Commission President come here supporting this nonsense saying it is not enough and you want €500million more.

“Let me say this is completely wrong, this is nonsense.”

He continued: “This is a huge price for EU citizens to have to pay. So you are just spending as if there is no tomorrow with taxpayers’ money.

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“This completely lacking any responsibility or economic sense here.

“This does not make sense in terms of spending and taxes.

“We are talking about huge figures of money here and this is hypocritical, all in the name of solidarity.

“We have seen Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden all refuse to agree to this nonsense.”

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