Tag Archives: Merkel

European Duo Says No To Turkey!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that she does not envision a full membership in the European Union for Turkey. Speaking before a group of fellow Christian Democrats, the German leader said “we cannot take in everyone in Europe as a full members.” She expressed concerns about the border of the European Union and worried that too many members would make decision making difficult. “It makes no sense if there are ever more members, and we can’t decide anything anymore.” However, Merkel expressed her support for some form of EU membership for Turkey that was short of full membership.

Mekel received support from French President Nicolas Sarkozy who exclaimed that “when Angela Merkel says Europe must have borders, she is right– because Europe without borders would be a Europe without a will, without identity, without values.”

There are two issues at play in these comments. One, how does an ever expanding Europe reach agreement on anything given current difficulties in having all nations agree to change? Secondly, is a different issue of do European Christians want a large Muslim nation in the European Union. They are separate issues.

Pope Benedict Reels Under Criticism

Pope Benedict XVI has been surprised by the violent outburst of German political and church leaders over his decision to bring back into the fold four formerly excommunicated bishops. When it became clear that Bishop Robert Williamson had told Swedish television he did not believe there was a Holocaust and accounts of the death of Jews during World War II were greatly exaggerated, the follow up to the remarks shocked Vatican leaders. Furious reactions came from European leaders, particularly, comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who made clear her disgust with the decision to allow the return of Bishop Williamson. She told the Vatican, “This should not be allowed to pass without consequences” and “the pope and the Vatican should clarify unambiguously that there can be no denial(of the Holocaust)”

There is growing evidence the Pope was shocked to learn about the Williamson views concerning the Holocaust and now is in a defensive mode. He is demanding that Bishop Williamson openly recant his views about the non-killing of Jews in the Holocaust. Chancellor Merkel has been placed in an awkward position. She is leader of Germany which conducted the Holocaust and the Pope is a German. She felt compelled to take a strong stand.

Sarkozy-Merkel Call For New Economic Council

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for creation of a new global economic security council that would be akin to the United Nations Security Council only its goal would be coordinating world-wide efforts to create economic success. Sarkozy made clear that from now on nations of the world did not need American permission or cooperation to focus on economic development. “I’ve always in my political life been a supporter of a close alliance with the United States but let’s be clear: in the 21st century, a single nation can no longer say what we must do or what we must think.” Chancellor Merkel hopes out of the wreckage of the current economic crisis will emerge a new architecture for managing global capitalism.

The French president and Merkel hope that alongside the UN Security Council, “we could also have an economic council” that she believes can focus on creating new international mechanisms for avoiding the type of banking crisis which currently impacts the world.

The days of Reaganism and Ron Paulism in which government supposedly has no right to supervise the “brilliant” business leaders of the economy are now ended. We will see the birth of a new approach to capitalism in which government has a positive role.

Is Saakashvili Winning Over European Leaders?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quite skeptical about the performance of President Saakashvili in the initial stages of the war in Georgia, but there are some signs he is winning over European leaders. The Georgian president has portrayed himself as a “victim,” as the fighting leader of democracy against the evil brutal Prime Minister Putin of Russia and as a hero to all Europeans. He insists all European leaders who visited him like President Sarkozy of France or Chancellor Merkel of Germany “all perfectly understand the situation here.” Is his evaluation an accurate one?

Chancellor Merkel followed events on CNN and other TV channels and her initial reaction was Saakashvili had blundered by attacking South Ossetia and that he was an impulsive man who took bold risks that were out of place in modern times. However, once Russian troops entered the war, her attitude changed. She flew to Georgia and was soon photographed with the president and uttered warm words of support. Somehow, Saakashvili used his charm or his intelligence to win over the German chancellor who has no become a leading advocate of Georgia membership in NATO.

In the end, Chancellor Merkel is supporting Georgia’s membership in NATO but not until the nation is a true democracy and he agrees to behave more rationally and avoid future war actions in the region.

Chancellor Merkel Meets With President Medvedev

Chancellor Merkel of Germany flew to the Russian black sea resort of Sochi to meet with Russian leader, Dimitry Medvedev. The purpose of her meeting was to reduce tension which had risen over the past few days as charges and threats flew back and forth from Russian and American diplomats. Merkel urged President Medvedev to respect the territorial integrity of Georgia, but he felt in light of the Georgian invasion neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia wanted anything to do with being part of Georgia. Merkel argued for an international peace keeping presence in Georgia which was not opposed by the Russian leader. “We are not against international peace keepers,” he said, but emphasized South Ossetia and Abkhazia would not accept them and only wanted Russian soldiers to protect them.

Chancellor Merkel was able to get a slight backing down on the part of Russian leaders when she expressed concern over remarks made by General Anatly Nogovitsyin who hinted at an attack on any missile bases the US would build in Poland. Medvedev expressed his sadness at the American decision to construct missile bases in Poland but assured Chancellor Merkel, although that decision is “sad news for all who lie on this densely populated continent, but it is not dramatic.”

Germany’s New Rock Star–Barack Obama!

American presidential candidate, Barack Obama, has captured the fancy and delight of millions of Europeans as he makes a first swing through the continent. He will arrive in Germany on Thursday where he will be greeted by enthusiastic supporters, given the latest polls indicate he leads John McCain in popularity in the European nation by a margin of 70% to 10%. The Democratic nominee has captured the imagination of Europeans in a manner to what they felt about John F. Kennedy. Europe seeks new leadership to deal with the myriad of issues ranging from terrorism to economics to integration of immigrants to creating a new society. They are turning westward in search of someone who can provide a new sense of purpose to a tired world.

Obama apparently has decided German Chancellor Angela Merkel offers the best hope of being the European leader with whom he can work in forging new alliances. His failure to include Great Britain and France in his itinerary has upset their leaders who feel slighted and ignored. However, Obama believes Germany must play a key role in providing greater support for the Afghanistan mess which will require additional troops in the coming years.

All “hopes of the world” eventually hit solid ground and encounter reality. Obama will discover there is little interest among German leaders in assuming an important role in Afghanistan. Most probably he eventually will discover the source of troops lies elsewhere in nations like France and the UK.

US Politics Embroil German Politicians

SEnator Barack Obama’s attempt to give a speech at the historic Brandenburg Gate has been vetoed by German Chancellor Merkel. Unconfirmed reports indicate a member of George Bush’s staff made known to German diplomats the president’s anger toward their nation allowing a Democratic presidential candidate to give a speech at the Brandenburg Gate. Chancellor Merkel is now insisting to allow such an event to occur would be tantamount to Germany becoming involved in American politics. There are reports Obama might give a speech at the Tempelhof Airport which played a key role in the Berlin airlift or in Schoneberg town hall where President Kennedy gave his famous, “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.

There are unconfirmed reports Germany is willing to allow Senator Obama use of the landing deck of one of its aircraft carriers which will have prominently displayed a huge banner proclaiming, “Mission Accomplished” the Republicans are beaten. The entire episode is merely a storm in a teacup which will have absolutely no bearing on the upcoming presidential election.

Medvedev– Who Is He? Himself? Or Putin’s Stooge?

Chancellor Angela Merkel had her last visit with “President” Putin and, naturally, expects to have others with “Prime Minister” Vladmir Putin. Animportant reason for her visit in Russia was to initiate a dialogue with the new president, Dimitry Medvedev. Putin made it clear to th visiting German leader that she would not expect any dramatic changes from Medvedev. “Dimitry Medevedev is free to express his liberal views,” said Putin, “and sometimes it appears as if a few people in the world are just waiting for me to be gone. But nobody should fool themselves: Medvedev is no less a Russian patriot than me. He will represent Russia’s national interests.”

On Woman’s Day, the new president of Russia gave Angela Merkel a bouquet of flowers. The unanswered questin which will not be known for months, or even a year, is whether he is ready to give bouquet of freedom to the people of Russia. Putin feels confident his protege will tow the line, many previous leaders have had similar expectations about people they groomed for the succession.

Let Them Speak Turkish-Then German, Says Erdogan!

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan during a trip to Germany urged the nation’s Chancellor, to create Turkish medium high schools and universities which would deal with education issues related to the 2.7 Turkish immigrants in Germany. Erdogan argued if an individual was first fluent in the Turkish language it would be easier for that person to learn German. “The German government should have no problem with that, whatever needs to be done for integration, should be done.” He also wants German high schools to hire more Turkish teachers who he believes will do better with German-Turkish students. Chancellor Merkel’s initial reaction was one of surprise and she noted that a good teacher should be able to interact with any child.

Prime Minister Erdogan was visiting Germany in connection with a recent fire in Ludwigshaven which some Turkish immigrants claim was caused by neo-Nazi elements. So far, no evidence of arson has been uncovered. It is interesting that Prime Minister Erdogan is offering advice to other nations regarding education considering he rejects any advice from those of Armenian background concerning their ideas on educating Turkish children about the Armenian Genocide. Chancellor Merkel is correct, a good teacher is able to interact with any child. Focus on teaching and excellent curriculum.

Turkish Journalist Analyzes German Situation

In an interview with the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, Kerem Caliskan reviewed the situation of Turkish people in Germany. The recent fires in Ludwigshaven in which several Turkish people were killed or hurt has aroused feelings among many people in Turkey that neo-Nazi right wingers were behind the episode. Caliskan interviewed two girls who claim to have seen a man lighting a fire, but, as of yet, the police do not have any hard evidence of arson. However, there is no question the ground floor of the building set afire was once a neo-Nazi club and is now home to a Turkish club. Caliskan believes there are underlying feelings which lead Turkish people in Germany to conclude the fires stem from plotting by the extreme right wing. He believes both President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel are “trying to keep Turkey out of Europe.” Caliskan thinks Merket is playing an anti-immigrant approach in order to win votes.

The Turkish journalist believes with all the talk about difficulties in having Turkish immigrants fit into German society, reality is they have. “Their adventure in adjusting to Europe is one of the biggest integration adventures of the 20th century.” The grandchildren of immigrants now work in virtually every occupation and have become successful German citizens. Unfortunately, political use of anti-immigrant hysteria is leading many German Turks to feel abandoned.

Perhaps, the entry of Turkey into the European Union would provide a surge of hope for those of German Turkish background who feel a lack of support in their efforts to become integrated citizens of Europe.