German-US Relations Sink to All-time Low
By Staff, Agencies
The US-German friendship has taken a nosedive. A recent survey commissioned by Atlantik-Brücke and conducted by the polling firm Civey found that 85 percent of respondents rate relations between the two countries as poor to very poor.
Relations between Germany and the United States have sunk to an all-time low over disagreements on political and economic issues, ongoing disputes and threats from Washington, a Der Spiegel editorial said.
Since Richard Grenell took over as the American ambassador to the country, both sides have been playing a diplomatic "silent game", the authors of the article noted.
At the same time, the article cited the ex-president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, who said of the US Ambassador:
“Grenell is behaving not like a diplomat, but like a right-wing extremist colonial officer”.
Such behavior by the ambassador, a staunch conservative who took office in Berlin in May 2018, according to Der Spiegel, has led to German officials giving Grenell a wide berth: Chancellor Angela Merkel has never talked to him, and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas prefers only brief encounters with the US envoy.
The publication recalls existing differences between Berlin and Washington on the issue of relations with Iran.
Most recently, Washington has been trying to build a coalition to patrol the waters of the Gulf to purportedly ensure maritime security there.
The US was reported to have asked Germany to help it secure the strait and contain Iran, but Berlin responded by stressing it did not want to be part of Washington’s "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas argued there could be no military solution to the US-Iranian standoff in the strait, with senior lawmakers in both the SPD and Angela Merkel's CDU also rejecting the idea.
In addition, unresolved trade disagreements between the two countries could lead to penalties, while the issue of defense spending is also a bone of contention, as Germany announced plans to increase military spending up to 1.35% in 2019, but still falls short of planning to reach the 2% goal, set by NATO members in 2014.