The Latest: Merkel open to idea of new eurozone minister
Posted August 29
BERLIN — The Latest on comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her annual summer press conference (all times local):
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she could imagine the eurozone having an economy and finance minister, but Berlin still needs to discuss with France what such an official would actually do.
The eurozone is made up of 19 of 28 European Union members who use the shared euro currency.
French President Emmanuel Macron took office in May calling for deep reform of the eurozone and the installation of a eurozone finance minister. Merkel has given the idea a cautious welcome but warned that details still need to be determined.
On Tuesday, Merkel said: "I could imagine an economy and finance minister ... so that we get a higher degree of united competitiveness."
She welcomed her finance minister's suggestion that the existing eurozone rescue fund be turned into a "European Monetary Fund," making Europe more able to solve its own problems in the future.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is condemning as "racist" a remark by a leader of a German nationalist party that her government's integration commissioner could be "disposed of in Anatolia."
One of Alternative for Germany's leaders, Alexander Gauland, made the comment about commissioner Aydan Ozoguz, who has Turkish roots.
Ozoguz had said that "a specifically German culture is, beyond the language, simply not identifiable."
Merkel said Tuesday that "this comment about the commissioner Ozoguz is racist and absolutely to be condemned."
Gauland has backed away from his use of the word "disposed" but otherwise has stood by his remarks.
Merkel says this is a typical strategy for the party known by its German initials AfD : "first a provocation and then a small backpedal."
Chancellor Angela Merkel says lifting sanctions on Russia imposed over its aggression in Ukraine would benefit both Russia and Germany, but that they must remain in place until Moscow fulfills the conditions for their removal.
The sanctions were placed by the European Union against Russia for backing separatists in eastern Ukraine and Merkel told reporters Tuesday there's still a situation there where "Ukraine does not have full sovereignty."
She urged continued dialogue between all sides to that eventually there could be a solution that would lead to the lifting of the sanctions.
She says "that would be good for the Russian economy as well as good for the German economy."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she can't keep quiet "for the sake of peace" on concerns about the rule of law in Poland.
Asked about the issue at a news conference Tuesday, Merkel said that she takes issues raised by the European Commission "very seriously."
She says "however much I want to have very good relations with Poland ... we cannot simply hold our mouths and say nothing for the sake of peace."
She said that the spat between Warsaw and Brussels touches on "the basis of cooperation inside the European Union."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Europe still "hasn't done its homework" on long-term solutions to the flow of migrants to the continent.
Merkel said Tuesday that it was "important and right" that Germany took in refugees and other migrants in an "exceptional situation" two years ago but it's also important to have "long-term sustainable structures."
But she says "Europe itself still hasn't done its homework to this day," with some countries refusing to accept a share of the refugees arriving in Europe.
She says: "It cannot be that Europe only shows solidarity when it helps some."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling on Turkey to release German citizens swept up in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt, calling their imprisonment "unjustified."
Turkey has arrested about 10 Germans in recent months on charges the German government considers dubious.
Mentioning German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel and several others by name, Merkel told reporters Tuesday, "our demand is very clear: those people who are in prison should be freed."
The arrests have contributed to worsening relations between Berlin and Ankara, which have also been strained by other issues.
Merkel says "this is a very complicated phase of our relationship" with Turkey.
She says "we would like better relations, but that has something to do with the fulfillment of the principles of the rule of law."