Top German officials call for cooperation against those seeking to break Europe apart

Top German officials call for cooperation against those seeking to break Europe apart

Top officials of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), such as SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil, the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil and former SPD deputy Sigrid Skarpelis-Sperk, who is the president of the Union of German-Greek Associations, underlined the importance of cooperation between social democratic forces and the Left for Europe's future in statements to Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Monday.

"There are many people that would like to see Europe disappear from the political screen," said Klingbeil, adding that it is very positive that the possibility of new cooperation is being examined. The fact that [Greek Prime Minister Alexis] Tsipras was here was a clear message of cooperation," he noted. "For me it’s the start of cooperation. We agree on many issues, on many others we have differences but simply the fact that we are talking about it and sending out a clear message that we want to keep Europe on a reasonable course, is in itself an important message that is emitted by his visit here," Klingbeil said.

Heil, on his part, referred to the need to create a partnership of pro-European forces against "the right-wing forces, the forces of nationalism that want to break Europe apart," adding that all the social democrats, members of the Left and other progressive forces, from the Greens to the Liberals, should participate in this partnership. "All those that support a United Europe, a fairer Europe, should rise up now and work together closely, going beyond party boundaries," said Heil.

An even more dramatic plea for cooperation came from Sigrid Skarpelis-Sperk, who noted that the right in Europe is getting stronger and stronger and becoming ever more extreme, in some cases bordering on fascism. "They have forgotten that in Europe we have peace and security for the last 70 years through the cooperation of all the political forces and particularly because the centre and the left cooperated and learned that war is not a solution, that conflicts are not a solution and that we must support the weaker partners internationally," she said. She also noted that the SPD's invitation to Tsipras shows that "German social democracy does not forget Greece's important role in Europe and the Greek prime minister has the support of the German social democrats in these important European issues."

The problem, according to Skarpelis-Sperk, is that "all the parts of the Left in Europe, including Germany, must learn to cooperate and to leave aside 'petty squabbles' that see the problems through the prism of how they can benefit the party and not how we can best cooperate for the good of the nation and of ordinary people." This feeling has been largely lost, the German official noted, adding that what is important at this crucial time is "to know what we owe to the weakest of our people and to Europe".

Source: amna-mpa