German conservative Friedrich Merz from CDU holds a news conference about his candidacy to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democrats, in Berlin, Germany.
Berlin: Germany is benefiting from a euro exchange rate that is too weak for its economy but too strong for others in the currency bloc, conservative Friedrich Merz, running to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of her party, said on Thursday.
Businessman Merz, back from the political wilderness, has taken an early lead in the race to succeed Merkel as leader of their Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and secure the chance of running for chancellor - possibly even next year.
“Let’s face it, we are benefiting from the monetary policy which most of the people in this country do not want. But we benefit from it, fundamentally,” Merz told a panel discussion on Europe’s Growth Challenge hosted by the Chatham House think tank.
“And this currency, which is in the meantime too weak for our economy, is still too strong for most of the others,” he added, speaking English.
“We are benefiting within the European Union, within the internal market, but beside that we are benefiting in international trade - towards China, towards the U.S., towards other regions in the world - from this currency policy.”
Asked what he would do about the euro's EUR= exchange rate, Merz replied that Germany had a "higher responsibility for European cooperation" as a result of what he saw as its gains from the single European currency.
“We have to tell the people in this country that the Germans have to contribute more than others to the success of the European Union,” he added.
“We have to do more than we are actually doing because if Europe fails - and this is a clear option, no one can deny it, Europe is really at the threshold at the moment - if Europe fails, the Germans will be those who suffer most from that.”