Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The German view of the Harper-Merkel bunfest

Despite all the hype in much of the Canadian media about this Harper-Merkel meeting featuring Canada-EU trade talks, the Germans are playing it right down:
Mr. J├╝rgens said he doesn't expect Mr. Harper and Ms. Merkel to have much detailed discussion about the ongoing trade talks between Canada and the European Union. "I wouldn't be surprised if it was briefly touched upon, but it definitely is a thing that belongs to a multilateral arena and is not of main interest if you have bilateral talks," he said. "We cannot talk for 26 other countries, that's kind of the mandate of the [European Union]."
We cannot know what will come up behind those closed Harrington Lake doors and trade likely will. But in public, for what it's worth, that's the German position on trade.

Note what other item might come up behind closed doors. In this CBC report, tension between Germany and Canada is also referenced, with a German official calling Canada's refusal to contribute to the Euro IMF fund "the elephant in the room."

Also on the German agenda, favouring climate science during the Canada trek with a stop in Halifax at Dalhousie on Thursday. Something we, the vast majority of Canadians who are concerned about climate change, don't see from our national leadership, what a concept. Merkel the physicist leads a nation committed to renewable energy. Her stop at Dal might be a good one to watch.

Update (Thursday a.m.): Here is video of Harper and Merkel as they "talk trade." I don't hear that part at all but it is how it is headlined.