Frau Merkel’s revenge?

Never. Or so she says…


(Fred Chartrand/CP)

OTTAWA – Canada’s prime minister and Germany’s chancellor say they’re not playing tit-for-tat when it comes to finding solutions to right a wobbly global economy.

Both Stephen Harper and Angela Merkel say a free trade deal with the European Union isn’t dependent on Canada cutting a cheque to support a bailout for the International Monetary Fund.

Canada’s refusal to contribute to the fund has drawn the ire of some European leaders, but Merkel insisted — with the prime minister at her side — that it would be wrong to link the trade deal with the issues in the eurozone.

“The question is, how can we create more growth for the euro area?” she told a news conference Thursday following a meeting with Harper on Parliament Hill.

“Our experience is whenever we had trade agreements with other countries, that has given a boost to growth, so we would actually be doing ourselves a very great disservice if we were thinking along those lines.”

Canada estimates a pact with the 27-country trading bloc could boost the economy by $12 billion annually.

Harper called the would-be trade deal an “ambitious agreement” that would “also provide a signal to the global economy that major developed countries are able to move forward on the trade agenda.”

For their part, the Europeans would consider the deal the broadest they’ve ever signed, said Merkel.

“There are number of outstanding issues out there, but once I go back to Germany I will see to it that these negotiations come to a speedy conclusion,” she said.

“At a time when there is lack of growth in the world, we — Canada and Germany — are convinced that free trade is one of the best engines of growth that we can have.”

Merkel, who will wrap up her first official visit to Canada later Thursday with a stop in Halifax, said the two countries enjoy both a strong political and personal relationship.

Harper also clearly feels the same. He repeatedly praised Merkel for her political and economic leadership.

“Canada and Germany are certain friends in a very uncertain world,” he said.


Frau Merkel’s revenge?

  1. Saying the two are not connected is pure BS.
    Either Harper refused to help, knowing he would have to cut a cheque later anyway to secure the deal, in order to pander to his base; or he messed up by refusing to help and will now have to if the trade deal is to go ahead.
    He told a little lie to keep the xenophobes onside or he cocked up; either way it looks decidedly unpretty.

    • The two are unconnected. Only an economic moron would think otherwise. Germany and Europe would be shooting themselves in the foot if they refused to sign a free trade deal, since economic growth is the only way Europe can possibly get out of its economic mess. For Germany, in particular, a free trade pact is far more important than Canada cutting a cheque. The free trade deal mean that Germany exporters will have a place to sell their wares other than the southern European periphery which can no longer afford to buy them. Whereas a Canadian cheque to Europe via the IMF just helps Spain and Italy delay making the tough restructuring decisions.

      Europe is plenty wealthy to bail out itself. It needs our markets much more than it needs us to contribute to a bailout that is best facitated by European debt pooling and ECB QE.

      • It’s certainly a way to get out of economic trouble now and push the trouble back to a later date, all the while remaining in an increasingly corrupt and rigged economic system.
        Spain and Italy could just default refuse to pay debts and then what? Will Germany then be able to grow out of the trouble that would cause? People will become tired of being dumped on by the few really rich folk and when you have nothing left to lose, why not bring it down on them too? The Spanish have seen what starving to stay in the system has done to the Greeks, they would be stupid to follow them down that road.
        Harper, if he is an economist, knows that it’s a finely balanced situation hence his and the idiots to the south constant bleating to for Europe to do more.

  2. How does the headline relate to the article? Or just the work of an overheated imagination.

  3. Frau Merkel und Herr Harper – was fur ein “odd couple”!

Sign in to comment.