Angela Merkel said on Monday that openness, not populism, polarization or isolation, was the answer to the world's challenges of globalization and digitalization
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks after she was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Leuven and the University of Ghent during an academic ceremony in Brussels on Thursday Jan. 12, 2017. Merkel received the honorary doctorate for her diplomatic and political efforts to develop the political strength of Europe, and to defend the values that allow Europe to find unity in diversity. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert), photo: AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert
23 of January 2017 16:05:01
BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that openness, not populism, polarization or isolation, was the answer to the world's challenges of globalization and digitalization."I think that, a quarter of a century after German unification, after the end of the Cold War, a new historical era will perhaps be replaced by another one," Merkel said in a speech to church leaders in Wuerzburg.Even though some were dreaming of a "return to a small world," she said the right answer was not isolation but openness.Merkel did not mention U.S. President Donald Trump by name, but her comments were in sharp contrast to his promises to "put America first", pull the United States out of multilateral trade deals and clamp down on illegal immigration, not least by building a wall on the Mexican border."We won't get anywhere by trying to solve problems with polarization and populism," she said. "We've got to show that we're committed to the basic principles of our nation."Trump has said Merkel made a "catastrophic mistake" by allowing more than a million refugees, mostly Muslims fleeing war in the Middle East, to come to Germany.Merkel greeted his election in November by offering to work closely with him on the basis of the values of "democracy, freedom, respect for the law and for human dignity, regardless of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political inclination."