“Countering Trumps America First”: “NYT” celebrates Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump at the NATO summit in London last December.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump at the NATO summit in London last December.

Michael Kappeler / picture alliance via Getty Images

  • The “New York Times” praised Chancellor Angela Merkel for her style of government in the corona crisis.
  • The newspaper also describes the EU’s handling of the consequences of the pandemic as extremely positive in a comment.
  • US President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping, on the other hand, are described as two sides of the same coin.

In his weekly column for the US newspaper “New York Times”, columnist and foreign policy expert Roger Cohen praised the German leadership style in dealing with the corona pandemic.

Germany’s action in the crisis makes it clear what the current superpowers, the United States and China are lacking, writes Cohen: the rejection of the nation state and the commitment to multilateralism. Chancellor Angela Merkel, on the other hand, understood that global problems can only be solved together.

“The nation state alone has no future,” quotes Cohen Merkel and writes: “Merkel has passed this judgment while Germany has for the first time agreed to take on joint debts to help weaker EU economies.” Cohen is playing on the Reconstruction fund for Europe amounting to 500 billion euros, which Merkel, together with French President Emmanuel Macron, is demanding.

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“Merkel is a cautious leader who is able to make bold decisions when they are inspired by principles,” writes Cohen. “For Germany, which has been preaching absolute budgetary discipline to this day under the impression of hyperinflation in the 1920s, this demand is a radical turn and a step towards a more federal Europe.”

For Cohen, this change is in stark contrast to Trump’s behavior. Its credo “America First” is a creeping poison that robs the USA of its ultimate credibility. In the corona crisis, the United States was so little different from rival China. While Xi’s government obscured the pandemic for a long time, the White House had played down its danger for weeks.

“The world cannot return to its state before the virus. The nationalism of Trump’s USA, Xis China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia is not an answer, ”writes Cohen. Instead, Angela Merkel made it clear what was important: innovation.

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