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Merkel warns of ‘pressure’ against international cooperation

Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned in her annual New Year speech released on Monday about the “pressure” against the “certainties of international cooperation” and said that the lessons of two world wars are not shared by everyone.

“In such a situation, we have to advocate, argue and fight for our beliefs with more conviction,” Merkel said.

She mentioned the challenges of climate change, immigration and the fight against terrorism, and said that, to solve them, it was necessary to take into account their own interests and those of others, Efe news reported.

She said that from January 1 Germany will have a non-permanent position in the UN Security Council and that her country will act in favour of “global solutions”.

“We are continuing to increase our funding for humanitarian and development aid and are also raising our defence spending,” Merkel added.

The Chancellor said the challenges of the times will only be mastered by sticking together and collaborating.

Talking about political developments in Germany, Merkel said that in 2018 she made the decision not to return to political office at the end of the current term and to step down from the presidency of her political party, the conservative Christian Democratic Union.

She said that the year, in which the government of the grand coalition was subjected to strong internal tensions, was “unsatisfactory”.

She also recognized that many of her fellow citizens complained about the government, since they took some time to reach an agreement to form a coalition.

The Chancellor said that the year that ended was extremely difficult from the political point of view and added that with her decision to abandon the leadership of her party and in the future the Chancellery will lead to a new beginning.

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