WDR Westdeutscher Rundfunk

Merkel: European Funds not to be used as a means of exerting pressure

Köln (ots) - The Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects the idea of threatening to cut EU subsidies to member states should they fail to comply with EU decisions or violate the principle of the rule of law. In an exclusive interview (WDR) for the ARD-Europamagazin (German Television/Das Erste, 26.03.2017, 12.45 Uhr) held at the sidelines of the Rome Summit, she literally said: "I do not aim to speak out threats in today's interview, but rather I would like to work towards the goal that the principle of the rule of law, as we understand it, is met all over Europe.

The rule of law and freedom would be values itself. When it comes to countries, that cause worries, she relies on the dialogue.

Furthermore, the Federal Chancellor refuses Sigmar Gabriel's proposition, that Germany should spend much more money to fill the gap caused by the exit of Great Britain from the European Union. Nevertheless, she thinks it is possible, that Germany and the other remaining member states will face higher burdens for certain projects. This includes the fight against the causes of migration, and border protection.

In light of the big wealth gap in the European Union, Angela Merkel refers to the German experiences: "We see by the success of the German reunification how long it takes and of course how much money has already been invested, in order to create equal living conditions for example in Germany."

She also sees a solution in reducing the bureaucracy specially to give younger member states more room and development. Therefore, she mentions to raise the thresholds for public investments, with the result that not everything (every project) must call for tender all over Europe.

You can find the complete interview on the webpage of the ARD - Europamagazin on the 25th of March 2017 at 15:00: http://www.daserste.de/information/politik-weltgeschehen/europamagazin/sendung/exklusivinterview-angela-merkel-quo-vadis-eu-100.html

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