Merkel Signals New Era for Europe as Trump Smashes Consensus
by Patrick Donahue
May 28, 2017, 1:31 PM CDT
Europe must take destiny ‘into our own hands,’ Merkel says. German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her strongest indication yet that Europe and the U.S. under President Donald Trump are drifting apart, saying reliable relationships forged since the end of World War II “are to some extent over.”
Speaking at a campaign rally in a beer tent in Munich on Sunday, Merkel offered a glimpse of her world view after Trump’s nine-day trip, during which he hectored NATO allies for not spending enough on defense, called Germany’s trade surplus “very bad,” and brought the U.S. to the brink of exiting the global Paris climate accord.
Merkel, who met with Trump during the NATO meeting in Brussels and the Group of Seven world leaders’ summit in Taormina, Sicily, said Europe must now plot its own course.
“The times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over -- I experienced that in the last few days,” Merkel told supporters in the Bavarian capital a day after the G-7 meeting ended. “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.”
“Of course we need to have friendly relations with the U.S. and with the U.K. and with other neighbors, including Russia,” she said. Even so, “we have to fight for our own future ourselves.”