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German Chancellor Merkel: More EU Centralization ‘Not the Answer’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Merkel Seeks Fourth Term as German Chancellor

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected further centralization within the EU after Britain’s vote to leave, on Thursday. She said that the bloc needed to delegate more tasks to subsidiary organizations.

“Centralization is definitely not the answer,” Merkel told a local political event before a Sept. 16 summit in Bratislava between the 27 European Union states that will remain after Britain departs.

“Germany is a country that has had good experiences with the sharing out of tasks,” added Merkel, who has been a strong defender of EU institutions since becoming chancellor in 2005.

Donald Tusk, who chairs the EU talks, last week said the meeting would focus on the future of the EU, not Britain.

According to what Reuters wrote, topics are likely to be high on the agenda include immigration, terrorism and how to address EU citizens’ concerns that globalization threatens their economic well-being.

Britons voted to leave the bloc in June, hitting the pound and forcing a change of prime minister.

However, London has yet to submit to Brussels the formal notification that will kick-start the departure process.

Alternately, European stock markets also fell on Thursday, turning lower after the European Central Bank stuck to its timetable for its stimulus program and President Mario Draghi said an extension had not been discussed.

The ECB held interest rates steady, as expected, and investors were looking to Draghi’s press conference for dovish signs that the central bank’s program of quantitative easing could be allowed to run longer than scheduled.

However, the STOXX 600 hit session lows shortly after Draghi said such an extension of the program had not been discussed, while the euro rose.

“It seems the recent deterioration in survey and inflation data is still not enough to push the ECB to ease further. While today’s inaction on policy is not too surprising, given their traditionally deliberate nature, we were expecting some language that would help prepare the market for easing later this year,” said Timothy Graf, head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets EMEA.