Merkel said the EU would have to become more resilient | John MacDougall/AFP via Gettty Images
Merkel: Europe must set ‘good example’ and fight protectionism
In an interview, the German chancellor also touches on EU recovery fund, rise of China and relations with the UK.
Updated 6/26/20, 7:27 PM CET
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned of the dangers of protectionism as a response to the economic shock caused by the coronavirus.
Speaking to several European newspapers, Merkel contrasted coordinated international action to tackle the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis with responses across the world to the pandemic.
“After the 2008 financial crisis, multilateralism was the order of the day. That was when the G20 started meeting at the level of heads of state or government, and the countries gave a very unified response. That is not the case today,” Merkel said.
“These days, we have to do all we can to stop ourselves collapsing into protectionism. If Europe wants to be heard, then it needs to set a good example.”
Given the varying degrees to which the pandemic has inflicted economic woes on EU countries, Merkel said “it is only right for Germany to … be prepared to engage in an extraordinary act of solidarity.”
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While a planned EU recovery fund would not “solve all of Europe’s problems,” she said, everything would get worse without it.