German Chancellor Angela Merkel came under intense criticism from a leading figure in one of Europe’s biggest lobby groups, Dieter Kempf, the president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI).

Before Merkel took the stage at an annual industry conference, Kempf said Germany’s current coalition government had “gambled away” the trust of the business sector by not delivering on digitisation. He also accused the government of “piecemeal social policies” and “an unhealthy level of redistribution.”

Merkel responded to the criticism with her own pointed words and made reference to the government’s efforts to address the aftershock of numerous scandals that have rocked certain key industries in Germany.

“Trust in the federal government is important, but trust in industry is also important,” Merkel said.