Angela Merkel: What She Said And What She Meant
I have a commentary in The Independent today on the German Chancellor’s address to both Houses of Parliament.
“Some expect my speech to pave the way for a fundamental reform of the European architecture which will satisfy all kinds of alleged or actual British wishes… they are in for a disappointment.”
I didn’t get where I am today by rolling over and conceding what the other side wants before the negotiations have begun. Young Cameron will thank me later for lowering expectations.
“If we are serious about change, we will find the legal mechanisms to do so.”
David needs to wake up and smell the Kaffee. I am good but I am not a Wunderwerker. Rewriting the EU treaties would mean a veto for the Maltese and another ghastly referendum in Ireland. It cannot be done.
“A Europe without borders is one of the greatest achievements of European unification. All member states, all citizens benefit from this.”
That’s the sort of thing we continentals always say, but watch what we actually do. We imposed transitional controls on Poles, and you didn’t.
“It is also true that, to maintain and preserve this freedom of movement and gain acceptance for it from our citizens, even today, we need to muster the courage to point out mistakes and tackle them.”
Your Prime Minister wants to fight an election promising to restrict free movement of workers. This is contrary to the sacred creed of Europeanism, and “mistakes were made” could mean we don’t have enough freedom of movement or we have too much.
“Standstill may quickly turn into setback. Or to use a famous quotation of Winston Churchill, ‘To be perfect is to change often.’”
This is what we know in Germany as a joke.
“We Germans shall never forget that we owe the happy and prosperous development of our country to the readiness of our European partners and friends to forgive.”
We Germans are very different indeed from you, and we look at the EU completely differently. I do hope that this will penetrate the Eurosceptic dreamworld in which many of you live.
“United and determined … this and nothing less than this should be our common goal. In order to attain this goal we need a strong United Kingdom with a strong voice inside the European Union.”
I will help your Prime Minister – if he is re-elected – to present cosmetic changes to you in a referendum so that you will stay and we can carry on as before.
Picture: BBCTagged in: Angela Merkel, rhetoric
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter