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German politicians "were horrified" from the instructions of the US ambassador

German politicians "were horrified" from the instructions of the US ambassador

6 2018 June
Tags: Germany, USA, Politics, Analytics, International relations, Ambassador

The biggest scandal in a few years arose between the US and Germany: in Germany they are outraged by the statements of the American ambassador. Richard Grenell allowed himself to hint what kind of political forces, from the point of view of the United States, should lead Europe. A number of German politicians are indignant at Washington's direct intervention in EU affairs, but will this scandal affect the pro-American attitude of the German elites?

Americans decided to make a good face in a bad game. Seeing at every step the alleged Russian interference in US affairs, the State Department suddenly saw no attempts to influence Germany's domestic policy in the statements of its ambassador in Berlin, Richard Grenelle. State Department spokesman Heather Nauerth noted that American ambassadors have the right to express their personal opinion, whether it likes someone or not, appealing also to freedom of speech.

"I think Ambassador Grenell stressed that there are some parties and candidates in Europe who are doing well," Nauert said.

Recall, in an interview with the American portal Breitbart, he approvingly expressed the growing popularity of conservatives in Europe as a result of the "failed policy of the left", as well as the victory of Donald Trump in the United States. At the same time, the ambassador added that this success must be consolidated: "I absolutely want to inspire other conservatives across Europe and other leaders."

Such a statement by Grenell caused a flurry of criticism from German politicians. The US ambassador in Berlin was accused of interfering in intra-German affairs. The head of the foreign policy department of the Federal Republic of Germany, Heiko Maas, invited him to a meeting at which the question of the diplomat's statements will be raised.

The expert on foreign policy issues of the conservative faction of the CDU / CSU in the Bundestag, Jurgen Hardt, expressed the hope that Grenell would devote his energy to strengthening the dialogue between Berlin and Washington. According to the deputy chairman of the faction of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the parliament of Rolf Mutzen, Grenell's statements violate the Vienna Convention of 1961 year, according to which diplomats "are not obliged to interfere in the internal affairs of the host state," Deutsche Welle reports. And in the party "Soyuz-90 - green", the US ambassador was offered to speak on behalf of the whole state, and not just from groups holding right-wing views.

Ex-head of the SPD and prominent European politician Martin Schultz went even further, expressing the hope that "the stay of Mr. Grenelle as an ambassador will be short," DPA reports. A similar rhetoric is shared by the leader of the Left faction in the Bundestag, Sarah Wagenkneht. "He who, like the American ambassador Richard Grenell, believes that he can decide in a lordly way who rules in Europe, can not continue to remain in Germany as a diplomat," RIA Novosti quotes Wagkenknecht as saying.

Curiously, unlike the official State Department, the former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, criticized his former colleague. McFaul drew attention to the results of a sociological poll in Germany, according to which 36% of Germans consider Russia a reliable partner, while in the USA only 14% of Germans see a reliable partner. "Horrible. Maybe our ambassador in Germany should work on changing these figures, rather than giving interviews to Breitbart, "McFaul wrote in his Twitter.

However, Grenell himself denied the charges, calling them ridiculous. He continues to hold the view that the society "is experiencing the awakening of a silent majority" that opposes traditional political elites and supports candidates who raise the themes of migration, taxes and bureaucracy from "consistently conservative" positions.

Such sharp resentment of the behavior of Americans was observed in Germany except after it became known about the "wiretapping" by the US special services of the highest officials of the FRG, including Chancellor Angela Merkel herself. The ambassador's current statements, and even with the unwillingness of American diplomacy to admit his mistake, again provoked outrage among the usually reserved Germans.

"The American ambassador constantly violates diplomatic etiquette and protocol," German political scientist Alexander Rahr told the newspaper. "The Germans are a very law-abiding people, and they are horrified at how this young American behaves: not as a diplomat, but as a governor who came and tells Germany his place." And he does it on behalf of the American president, "who actually behaves the same way," the political scientist added.

According to him, the Germans "do not believe their ears," they are used to the fact that Americans talk to them, even "a little bit down", but friendly, with a smile. "And this one always gives out commands," the interlocutor remarked. Most of all the indignation was caused by the Ambassador's statement that he came here to support conservative parties, "in fact some sort of" orange revolution "in Germany," Rar pointed out. He recalled that right-wing parties all understand first of all the "Alternative for Germany" (AdG), which for the parties in the government is the number one enemy.

Although the State Department's arrogant response only added fuel to the fire, Rahr noted that he was pleased with the State Department's statement. "So, Americans look at the world with such eyes as their US ambassador. Thank God that they are frank, now we in Europe know what awaits us. Everyone thought that Americans pretend or do not look down on Europeans, now it turns out different, "he stressed.

However, European diplomats, including Germans, often behave in the same way in Eastern Europe, as well as in Russia and Ukraine: they give instructions on who to choose and express their preferences. "It's good that they will see how unpleasant it is for the country and for the people living in it," Rar pointed out. He expressed the hope that, perhaps, now they will reconsider their statements when they act "in the role of the elder brother."

"The highest diplomat can express his opinion, but he must be cautious. And it's one thing to express your opinion in a restaurant or during some informal meetings, and another is to make such statements in an interview with the media. Therefore, according to the Germans, he crossed the border of what is permitted.

If the Russian or Chinese ambassador even hinted something like this - then they would have raised a howl and a loud scandal. And in the case of the American ambassador, there is only indignation for the time being, "Rar said.

Nevertheless, despite the indignation of most of the German political elite, Germany's strategy toward the United States will not change, Rar assured. In his opinion, the Germans are not ready for a tough response line. Europe is strong economically, but "no longer in military terms" Germany, plus "more or less France." Italy, Spain, as well as other EU countries have nothing to boast about. "The Americans know this. They just show the Europeans their place, "Rahr believes.

"With the current elites, who are either raised in America or are connected with America, who believe that without America they are afraid to live in this world, it is difficult to find any other orientations. However, it is possible that some European states somehow autonomously from the EU will try to look for some other forms of foreign policy that would be in the interests of Europe, "the political scientist said. "In Germany, with the exception of the current opposition, most of the elite are pro-American. And they do not even want to think in such categories as opposition to America. While this is empty talk and resentment, which is heard in the mouth of the German elite: "How so, Americans, whom we love so much, offend us so much?" - ironically Rahr.

Marina Baltacheva, Alexey Nechaev
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