Macron praises Merkel for saving Europe’s dignity

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A man in a Santa Claus costume speaks with children from Syria at a Christmas party held by the Lower Saxonian authorities at the border transit camp Friedland, Germany, 02 December 2016.

Macron praises Merkel for saving Europe’s dignity


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Chancellor Angela Merkel saved Europe’s “dignity,” says the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Taking a unique position in French political discourse, Macron gave an interview to Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday in which he praises the most politically damaging policy for the German Chancellor.

The 39-year-old politician says Chancellor Merkel and German society “saved our collective dignity by taking in refugees and providing them with accommodation and education.” However, he also regretted that neither France nor Germany stood in solidarity with Italy when the first refugee crisis started.

Addressing the link made by populist movements between immigration and terrorism, Macron spoke about a “hideous oversimplification.” He also spoke of the need to create a “sovereign Europe,” able to defend its citizens from outside dangers.

Macron is the most popular politician in France (35% positive), although that does not necessarily reflect voting intentions. He is running without the endorsement of a major party and in a climate of political polarization that overall favours anti-immigration rhetoric.

Macron resigned from President Hollande’s administration in April to run as an independent candidate and will not be seeking the nomination of the Socialist Party this January.

epa05621325 German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) during a visit to the Foreigners Agency (Auslaenderbehoerde) in Berlin, Germany, 07 November 2016.  EPA/TOBIAS SCHWARZ / POOL

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) during a visit to the Foreigners Agency (Auslaenderbehoerde) in Berlin, Germany, 07 November 2016. EPA/TOBIAS SCHWARZ / POOL

epa04998973 French Economy minister Emmanuel Macron speaks during the Franco-German digital summit held at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, 27 October 2015. French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel  and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attended the summit which focussed on new technologies.  EPA/IAN LANGSDON

Former French Economy minister and Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. Macron addressed a Franco-German digital summit held at the Elysee Palace in Paris, October 2015.  EPA/IAN LANGSDON

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