ANGELA Merkel has been slammed by her own coalition over the bailout for Greece, saying that the crisis is pulling the European Union (EU) apart. The Social Democrat Thomas Oppermann, 63, has launched an attack on the German Chancellor saying that her policy regarding the bailout money for Greece has divided Europe.
Speaking in the Bundestag, he said: “The Chancellor rightly honoured [former Chancellor] Helmut Kohl. But not a cent for Greece – Mrs Merkel, that would never have been Helmut Kohl’s motto, he would never have allowed the Greek crisis to push the European Union apart.”Mr Oppermann is currently Chairman of the party’s parliamentary group in the coalition in Mrs Merkel’s administration.
A deal was reached earlier this month between Greece and it international creditors on the next stage of its £75.7 billion (€86bn) bailout which removed fears that Athens could default on more than £6.2bn (€7bn) of debt repayments that are due next month.The deal also relieved tension between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU over the terms and conditions for the Greek bailout.
The IMF had said that the eurozone countries needed to offer Athens significant debt relief in order to make repayments sustainable while the European Commission stated that the IMF was being far too pessimistic. Mr Opperman also attacked Angela Merkel for failing to do anything to resolve the ongoing disagreements within the EU members over how to solve the migrant crisis.
Mr Opperman’s comments came after Mrs Merkel, 62, gave a 30-minute speech to the Bundestag, where she revealed her vision for a Franco-German dominated EU with the bloc being forced to accept greater integration.During her speech, Mrs Merkel spoke in terms of “France and our other partners in the EU, indicating that she had talked with the French President Emmanuel Macron about a “medium-term plan for deepening the EU and the eurozone”. She added that the interests of Germany and France were “connected in the closest possible way”.
Mrs Merkel also took a sideswipe at Britain and Brexit, saying: “Our priority is to prepare for our own future with the European Union, regardless of Brexit.”She added: “Europe has no choice but to increasingly take its fate in its own hands,” referring to past tensions with Donald Trump’s administration in the United States. Mrs Merkel was also attacked by Mr Opperman who questioned her ability to stand up to the Republican US President.He said: “Donald Trump divides the west.
It is necessary for us to take an unambiguous stand. In Hamburg, we must show the American president that he stands alone on climate change.” Die Linke’s Co-Chairman Dietmar Bartsch also savaged Mrs Merkel, disputing the idea that Europe was capable of leading the world.Mr Bartsch said: ”At the moment Europe cannot play this role because it’s in crisis.”And that’s the result of your policies.”