Berlin (DPA) – Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the future federal government to be ready to implement reforms so that Germany can keep up with international competition.
“We are a strong country,” the CDU politician said in Berlin on Thursday during her last summer press conference with journalists from the capital. That just became clear during the corona pandemic. “But we really need to do in some places to maintain the high standard we have.” Merkel emphasized: “There is still a lot to be done. But we really don’t have to hide our lamps under a bushel.”
Merkel specifically called for more progress in digitization in Germany and a faster pace in climate protection. She was concerned about the new dynamics of the increase in corona infections. She called for more vaccination efforts. “The more we are vaccinated, the freer we will be again.”
Further topics at a glance
FLOODING: The chancellor swore the country to a concerted effort to cope with the flood disaster. “We will need patience to repair all this damage,” she said. There is terrible devastation, Germany mourns 170 dead. The goal is to jointly finance the flood damage, Merkel said. The federal government has made an amount of 200 million euros available for emergency aid. In the coming days and weeks, consultations will take place with the prime ministers of the federal states about a joint development fund.
CLIMATE PROTECTION: Germany has done a lot against global warming, the chancellor assured. Her political life has been shaped by action against climate change. “A lot has happened.” But you need to pick up the pace and increase the expansion of renewables. “The scientific evidence calls for even more haste. We as politicians have to find majorities for that.” The chancellor emphasized that the acceptance of wind energy in rural areas should also be increased in society. Afterwards she described the decision to phase out nuclear energy as “correct”.
DIGITALIZATION: Merkel sees Germany facing major challenges in terms of modernization and future technologies. She referred to findings from the corona pandemic, but also to the enormous pace of development in the US in the field of chip technology. Germany can and should be better at digitization. “Sometimes it goes very slowly. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that we have a very good administration that believes that we can continue to work well without digitization.” What is needed here is a “great show of strength” from the federal, state and local governments.
Foreign Policy Issues
NORD STREAM 2: Merkel described the agreement with the US government on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a “good step”. But it does not overcome all differences. It is an attempt to establish certain conditions between the US and Germany that must also be implemented. It is important that Ukraine remains a gas transit country and that energy cannot be used to put Ukraine in a difficult situation. The deal with the US government is “also good for Ukraine”. The Russian side has promised not to use energy as a weapon. ‘That is also a statement. We will take her at her word.” Otherwise, Germany would not be “completely defenseless”. Merkel pointed to the possibility of sanctions.
EU ASYLUM POLICY: As far as refugee policy is concerned, the EU has not yet reached a state “that I would like,” Merkel stressed. It’s about enabling legal migration, helping people in real need and ultimately preventing people smugglers and smugglers from continuing to a significant extent. It has still not been possible to establish a common asylum policy for the European Union. “This is something that needs to be resolved in the coming years because it is a heavy burden on the cohesion of the European Union,” Merkel said. A significant number of people smugglers and smugglers were still in action.