Merkel to deliver Europe speech at Davos
BERLIN, Germany – German Chancellor Angela Merkel will speak about the future of Europe at the World Economic Forum in Davos but will leave before US President Donald Trump is due to arrive, her spokesman said Friday, January 19.
Merkel will make the speech on Wednesday, January 24, during a one-day visit to the event, spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters, adding that she would also hold a range of unspecified bilateral talks on the sidelines.
"The focus that day at Davos will be on Europe," Seibert said.
"Germany is, politically and economically, an important member of the European Union and very engaged in the political debate about Europe's further development. That is why she has chosen to express her views there."
Merkel, who has been struggling since September's general election to cobble together a new government, will speak the same day as French President Emmanuel Macron, who has proposed a raft of ambitious EU reforms.
Trump's planned visit on Friday is expected to overshadow the annual meeting at the luxury Swiss ski resort.
Since taking office a year ago, he has doubled down on his "America First" agenda, which stands in stark contrast to the globalisation and regulatory integration popular among the Davos crowd and which Merkel and Macron are expected to defend.
The five-day event kicks off Monday, January 22, and is expected to draw some 3,000 political and business elites, including 70 heads of state and government. – Rappler.com