So what does Angela Merkel think? Germany’s reactions towards the new British government

6996023785_a7766e6000_zNina Trentmann, UK Business Correspondent at Die Welt, takes a look at the recent appointment of Boris Johnson as UK Foreign Secretary and the reactions of politicians in Germany to this news, particularly in the context of future negotiation tactis between the UK and the EU.

It was a shock. German politicians, their French counterparts, EU representatives – they all shook their head in disbelief when it became known that the former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, would become the UK’s new foreign minister. German TV commentators were reportedly confounded by the appointment. Others, such as the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, described the Prime Minister’s choice as a sign of the political crisis in the UK, and branded Johnson a ‘liar’ for his behaviour during the referendum campaign. Continue reading

The EU debate: a gift to cartoonists

FactsFor Kipper Williams, cartoonist, whichever side you happen to be on in the EU debate, it’s a universal truth that straight banana directives have considerable comedy potential – particularly if you happen to be a cartoonist.

So my book ‘In or Out? Europe in Cartoons‘ shamelessly draws on topics like this, even though it’s never been my intention to use cartoons as a vehicle for bashing the European Commission. My cartoon strip ‘Eurocats’ which ran in the Guardian in the early-1990s similarly exploited fundamentally fictional Brussels ‘scare stories’ as raw material (thanks Boris), simply because they were so absurd. Continue reading

What now for the Eurozone? A look at Germany, Grexit and Cameron’s pursuit of EU reform

Nina Trentmann, UK Business Correspondent at Die Welt, takes a look at the EU and the Eurozone in the wake of the most recent Greek bailout. With key German political figures in disagreement about in which direction to move, what might this mean for David Cameron’s chances of successfully negotiating EU reform? 

During the last couple of months, I have been asked quite frequently: what does Germany think? About Greece, about another bailout, about the Euro? I found that funny at times, given that Germany is a country of more then 80 million people who often have contrasting views, especially on topics which have been debated as hotly as the Greek debt crisis.

Although there is now some sort of agreement between Greece and its international creditors – the country remains in the Eurozone, there will be more emergency funds from the European partners, the ECB is continuing to support Greek banks – it has become quite obvious that this is only a solution for a short period of time. This has been amplified in the rift between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble who, despite coming from the same party, the Christian Democratic Union, are now openly disagreeing on how to proceed in general with the Euro and with Greece in particular.

Continue reading