Germany needs crisis mentality to close digital gap: Merkel ally

Reuters  Francois Mori

Reuters Francois Mori

She levelled, "The era where we were able to blindly count upon the support of others is in the past". Europe can not do so, he said, "unless we decide to have a true European army". "This means we Europeans have to take our fate fully into our own hands", Merkel said.

Juncker first called for an European Union army in 2015, when he told a German newspaper it was needed to ensure the bloc was "taken entirely seriously" in terms of foreign policy. "It would not be directed against NATO, but it would complement it, without ever questioning the link" with the Atlantic Alliance.

After spending much of the past weekend in Paris together, in what can be reasonably called a failed diplomatic reset, Trump hit at Macron's suggestion of a joint European military force created to protect European countries from a threat of the United States, China and Russian Federation.

The European Commission has previously said existing closer defence co-operation "is not about creating an EU army".

"We see North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as the cornerstone for the protection of Europe in the security realm and we fully support nations doing more to carry the load", Mattis said.

In her speech, Merkel indirectly defended her policy.

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As many national and regional leaders met at the home of French President Emmanuel Macron before heading to the Arc de Triomphe for the ceremony together, Trump was noticeably absent.

On Tuesday Trump took aim at Macron again, blasting France over its near-defeat to Germany in two world wars, its wine industry and Macron's approval ratings.

Trump criticized Macron's comments on November 13, tweeting, "Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the United States, China, and Russian Federation".

It seems President Macron and Angela Merkel got along so well at the armistice commemoration at the weekend that one elderly lady mistook Merkel for Macron's wife.

Mr Farage also thanked Mrs Merkel for her disastrous policies helping to make it "over the line for Brexit". He earlier said Europe has to protect itself with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.

"A common army among the Europeans would convey to Russian Federation that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union", he said. "Is it not time for you to say to German communities and many others, "I'm sorry for what I've done to you, and the problems I've inflicted upon you for many decades to come"?"

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