Marshall Plan represented American interests, nothing altruistic about it: Angela Merkel

The countries of Europe were to be built up as trade and business partners of the US," said the German Chancellor on the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan.

By: AP | Berlin | Published:June 21, 2017 7:24 pm
Angela Merkel, Merkel speech, Donald Trump, Emannuel Macron, German Elections “Of course, that wasn’t an altruistic approach either -it also served, in the best sense, to represent the United States’ own interests,” Merkel said. (Photo: AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel today marked the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan, remarking pointedly that the US embrace of open markets in post-World War II Europe served America’s own interests. Then-Secretary of State George C Marshall outlined an aid plan for Europe in a June 1947 speech at Harvard University that kicked off what became known as the Marshall Plan. The anniversary comes amid concern in Europe and elsewhere about President Donald Trump’s “America first” approach to trade and other matters.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who joined Merkel in Berlin to commemorate it, said that Marshall’s speech “proclaimed above all the end of American isolationism.” Neither he nor Merkel referred directly to Trump or his administration. The German leader, however, stressed the importance of standing up for shared values, of balancing interests and trying to create “win-win situations.”

Marshall backed open markets and wanted to help get Europe back on its feet through close economic ties with the US, creating prosperity and stability and securing peace, Merkel noted.

“Of course, that wasn’t an altruistic approach either -it also served, in the best sense, to represent the United States’ own interests,” she said. “The countries of Europe were to be built up as trade and business partners of the US.” Marshall “was convinced that busy trade benefited all concerned,” Merkel added. “We should not forget today how right that is.”

Merkel reiterated that “we in Europe are called on more than ever to recognise that we have our fate to some extent in our hand, and must take it in our hand.” That, she said, goes for foreign, security and trade policy. She stressed that Germany’s “integration in the Western community of values was, is and remains the cornerstone of our foreign and security policy” whatever the changing challenges Europe and the US face.

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  1. S
    Serguei SeminePhD
    Jun 24, 2017 at 9:25 am
    “Duping” Europe, American style The Ukrainian crisis has been primarily created by the Americans, to weaken the European economy in order to prop their own, battered by crisis and wars. Have no illusions, US and EU are not friend but companions. They have different economic objectives that make them strong compe ors. It needs to be understood that EU has been created as leverage to America’s global expansion. New sanctions and potential end to Russia’s natural gas supplies to Europe will lead to a decline in EU economy by upto 30 . Such situation would be highly beneficial for US businesses since they would be able to step into the newly vacant markets. The Americans would try to fulfill Europe’s demand for gas and petrol by selling their own or re-exporting from Middle East. Naturally, at prices higher than those for Russian subs utes. This would be a great boost to the American economy. The higher prices for fuel will increase production costs of European goods making them less
    Reply
  2. V
    Vishnu Bhat
    Jun 21, 2017 at 9:48 pm
    Well said - no mincing of words.
    Reply
  3. A
    abhilyan
    Jun 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm
    Angela Merkel is the first European leader to understand and underline the fact that this is the end of US-centric world. It is interesting that Marshall Plan marked the "end" of the Golden Isolation of the US, that really got fractured with the coming of the first world war. And on the 70th anniversary the world and Europe have the option of pushing the US back into some kind of isolation with the active help of Trump. Europe must not be in the NATO it serves to continue a non-exisiting cold war. Instead, Europe should dialogue with the so called enemy Russia that has never, but never attacked Europe in its history. There is absolutely no mature reason to go back to the hysteria in the US in the '60s known as " The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming". The whole world has gone far far beyond those days of NATO and Warsaw pacts. Finally, Europe must not see the world through the eyes of US and not let the UK, a local lackey of the US to dicatate its approach to the others
    Reply