Merkel: Europe must set ‘good example’ and fight protectionism, politico.eu

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.”[…]

On foreign policy, Merkel said, the EU would have to become more resilient, given China’s rise to become a global player, making the country both a partner and a competitor for Europe.

“The example of China shows that even an undemocratic state can be economically successful, which is a major challenge for our liberal democracies,” she said in the interview with reporters from Britain’s the Guardian, Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, France’s Le Monde, Spain’s La Vanguardia, Italy’s La Stampa and Poland’s Polityka. Läs artikel