Saturday, June 27, 2009

Transatlantic Relations -- Barack Obama & Angela Merkel

The Same Fundamental Values & Mutual Trust

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been awarded the Eric M. Warburg Prize in Washington for her services to transatlantic relations. In her acceptance speech the German Chancellor said that the United States and Europe shared fundamental values such as human rights.

But shared values had to be implemented not only when it came to security issues, but also in the international economic and financial crisis. "We need multilateral institutions that take on responsibility in the globalised world," Angela Merkel said.

Forthcoming Climate Protection Agreement

The United States and Europe were as close as never before on the issue of climate change - but they could get even closer. And here, too, Angela Merkel would like the United States and Europe to take the lead so that others could follow suit… Excerpts,

In a yesterday’s White House press conference Merkel stated she’s going to fully support the US international policy. Obama, in turn, dignified her as “smart” as well as “practical”, and then added that he “trusts” her.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obama Unveiled Key Regulatory Overhaul

President Barack Obama has proposed the most "sweeping" regulatory overhaul since the 1930s, aiming to stop future meltdowns and purge the finance system of lax oversight, greed and huge debts.

"We did not choose how this crisis began. But we do have a choice in the legacy this crisis leaves behind," Obama said.

"My administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system, a transformation on a scale not seen since the reforms that followed the Great Depression."

The reforms, which must be approved by Congress, will inject the government deeper into the finance sector in a bid to tame the recklessness which saw a mortgage meltdown tip the world into deep economic crisis.

They are the latest attempt by the Obama administration to heal the US economy and ensure it never again pitches into such turmoil… More to read: Stephen Collinson, AFP - Washington, June 17


Friday, June 12, 2009

Barroso's bid to retain EU Commission presidency

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday they supported the re-election of European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso for a second five-year term.

"Important personnel and policy decisions must be taken immediately. That is why Germany and France support Jose Manuel Barroso," Merkel said at a joint press conference with Sarkozy in Paris.

There is a "strong desire" in the newly-elected EU Parliament that the choice of a new EC head should not take the entire summer.

"We will support the candidacy of Mr. Barroso, without ambiguity," Sarkozy said at a joint news conference at the Elysee presidential palace. But the support for the incumbent was not unconditional, he added. "Madame Merkel and I support Barroso... But we call on him before a second term to clarify, and in a way make formal, his position."

The Portuguese EC president has been criticized for waffling on a number of important issues. Barroso must commit himself to a Europe that protects its citizens... Deutsche Welle


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Barack Obama reached out to the Muslim world

US President Barack Obama has said the "cycle of suspicion and discord" between the United States and the Muslim world must end.

In a keynote speech in Cairo, Obama called for a "new beginning" in ties. He admitted there had been "years of distrust" and said both sides needed to make a "sustained effort... to respect one another and seek common ground".

He made a number of references to the Koran and called on all faiths to live together in peace and, thus, received a standing ovation at the end of his speech at Cairo University. [read more at BBC News]

Here’s, in addition, the full text of the unique and historic speech on Spiegel International as well as a speech video on Huffington Post.