Germany accused of isolationism

Oct. 24, 2008 at 1:34 PM
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FRANKFURT, Germany, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A former German foreign minister said Germany's response to the current world financial crisis was too isolationist.

Joschka Fischer wrote in a column for the online edition of Die Zeit that the Germany government, which rejected the idea of forming a European Union aid fund in response to the crisis, had "played the national card instead of taking care of Europe," Deutsche Welle reported Friday.

The government of Europe's largest economy has taken similar hits from International Herald Tribune columnist John Vinocur, a Finnish daily paper, Hufvudstadsbladet, and a Dutch paper, Volkskrant, Deutsche Welle said.

"In the current finance crisis, the government's two main actors -- (Chancellor) Angela Merkel and her finance minister (Peer Steinbruck) -- didn't withstand the test," Vinocur wrote.

Political scientist Jan Techau, director of the Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, said Germany's response to the financial crisis could have been interpreted as isolationist when Chancellor Merkel reassured the German public their money was secure.

After that, the country began working with other European Union members during an emergency financial summit in Paris, Techau said.

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