Merkel doubles down on demands for a 'real, true European army'

Merkel doubles down on demands for a 'real, true European army'

To a mix of applause and jeers from Eurosceptic MEPs, she said: "We have to look at the vision of one day creating a real, true European army". "Solidarity always means that we have to overcome national egoism", she said, adding that it had taken Germany "far too long" to realise that refugee policy was a European issue.

"I hope that it will become a matter of course for men and women to share work, child-raising and housework equally and that no one will be forced into a role or a specific task because of his or her gender", said Merkel.

"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America", he said on French radio. "They were starting to learn German in Paris before the US came along", he tweeted Tuesday. "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"?"

Asked about Mr Trump's tweets, a key adviser to Mr Macron said the French President had briefed Mr Trump and his chief of staff during the Paris trip to reassure them "that France is not about to make a choice between a European defence system and a multilateral approach".

Merkel's views come on the heels of Macron suggesting last week on French radio that the European Union should build an army to protect against "China, Russia, and even the United States of America".

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Speaking to the European parliament in Strasbourg, the German chancellor backed the bold step in European defence policy, as part of a speech extolling the need for EU cooperation in migration, climate change and counter-terrorism.

"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.

"There will be a proposal by December", she said. But former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry noted that France helped the fledgling United States win its war of independence against Britain in the 18th century and criticized Trump for "insulting our oldest ally". "A common European army would show the world that there will never be war between the European countries again".

For the socialists Maria Joao Rodrigues, the chancellor now needs to give its green light to a reform of the euro area, for more convergence and less dependency on markets: "chancellor Merkel needs to decide if she wants to be with those who want to bring this solution or those who are against this solution".

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