Calls for EU Reform: Some German Politicians Agree With Cameron

A British European Union passport: "If you condemn Cameron's idea of a referendum on Europe outright, you will fan mistrust of Europe." Zoom
REUTERS

A British European Union passport: "If you condemn Cameron's idea of a referendum on Europe outright, you will fan mistrust of Europe."

A number of politicians from Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition parties have voiced support for British Prime Minister David Cameron's calls for a reform of the EU. They say they agree with a number of points he made in his speech on Europe last week -- but are opposed to granting Britain any further exemptions from EU rules.

Chancellor Angela Merkel may have given a non-committal response to British Prime Minister David Cameron's call for EU reform and a British referendum on EU membership, but several politicians from her center-right coalition have voiced support for him.

"It would be totally wrong to react with kneejerk refusal to the intitiative of Prime Minister Cameron," said Alexander Dobrindt, the general secretary of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union. "If you condemn Cameron's idea of a referendum on Europe outright, you will fan mistrust of Europe, as if Europe has to hide from the people."

Dobrindt said Cameron had addressed many points in his speech "that could really bring Europe forward." Those points included strengthening national parliaments, clawing back powers from Brussels and making EU institutions more transparent.

'There Can't Be Room for Special Rights'

The CSU itself has in the past said Germany should hold a referendum on the EU if any more powers are passed to Brussels from Berlin. But Dobrindt said he was against granting Britain further optouts from EU rules. "It's clear that in an optimized Europe there can't be room for special rights for individuals, such as a British rebate," he said.

Cameron also got backing from Bavarian Economy Minister Martin Zeil of the pro-business Free Democratic Party, junior partner in Merkel's coalition. "The British have had to undergo painful financial cuts to stabilize their state budget," he said. Referring to Southern European nations, he added: "So one can well imagine the frustration of the British when they see that other states have reacted in a far more lax way to their desolate financial situations."

Cameron had also been right to call for improvements in competitiveness, said Zeil. "The issues he addressed are quite right," said Zeil. "But the conclusion he draws from it -- namely an exit from the EU -- that's wrong."

Britain was one of the strong EU nations and should, together with countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands, be seeking solutions to the EU crisis, said Zeil. But he added that Cameron's motives were transparent: He was being driven by domestic political pressure in his threat to quit the EU. That, said Zeil, was the wrong signal.

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1. British Exit
thorpeman@sky.com 01/29/2013
---Quote (Originally by sysop)--- A number of politicians from Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition parties have voiced support for British Prime Minister David Cameron's calls for a reform of the EU. They say they agree with a number of points he made in his speech on Europe last week -- but are opposed to granting Britain any further exemptions from EU rules. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/some-politicians-from-merkel-s-coalition-agree-with-david-cameron-a-880401.html ---End Quote--- It makes sense to make a clean break between the EU & the UK. The EU wants to be a single governed country called the United States of Europe, they may not say it but we sure as hell know that's what they mean. The politicians will create one single country & any Country seeking anything different is simply in the way & blocking this Franco German agenda. Britain is a fly in the eye of this progress. In Ireland we have had referendums & all have been ratified. We have a free trade agreement with the UK that goes back to 1965 so if they are in or out will have no effect on trade or the free movements of Irish or UK citizens. The best way forward is to encourage the UK to leave the EU or there will be no movement forward in the way imagined by Barroso, Schulz & Rompuy
2. Supporting Britain.
sylvesterthecat 01/30/2013
It is good to know that we have some support from the CDU party members but it's a pity it's a bit half-hearted. Even so there's a year or two before negotiations need to start, (if indeed they ever start.) Should there be no satisfactory outcome to the talks then as things stand as they do now, the electorate will vote to leave the EU. I do hope I live to see it. Who knows, we may even persuade Cameron the arch-Europhile himself, that he should vote to leave.
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