Angela Merkel addressed leaders at the economic forum in Davos on Wednesday
She branded populism ‘a poison’ and said she is trying to get it ‘under control’
Chancellor also hit out at ‘national egotism’, saying it will not advance the world
Merkel also swiped at Trump over his decision to quit the Paris climate accord
By Chris Pleasance
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the rise of right-wing populism in Europe as ‘a poison’.
Merkel, speaking at the economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, said the problem stems from unresolved issues in Europe and she is trying to get it ‘under control’.
In Germany’s case she pointed to the bailout of Greece during the financial crisis and the influx of migrants in 2015 as the drivers of right-wing support.
Both events happened while she was leader of the country.
Her comments come after the far-right AfD party won its first ever parliamentary seats at the last German election, which left Merkel struggling to form a government.
She has now entered formal negotiations with her old partners the SPD, but no deal has been hashed out more than four months after voters went to the ballot boxes.
Merkel also said there is too much ‘national egoism’ in politics and that leaders need closer cooperation to face modern challenges.
‘We believe that isolationism won’t take us forward. We believe that we must cooperate, that protectionism is not the correct answer,’ she said.
She then took a swipe at Donald Trump over climate change, saying the world is moving ahead on solving the problem ‘without the United States’.
Trump has pledged to withdraw America from the Paris climate agreement which would see countries drastically cut emissions while investing in green technology.