German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) election manifesto on Monday, a document which referred to the United States as a “partner” in a joint program for the 2017 election, a downgrade from “friends,” reports Reuters.
Four years ago, the joint program of her CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), referred to the US as Germany’s “most important friend” outside of Europe.
The 2013 program described the “friendship” with America as a “cornerstone” of Germany’s international relations.
But now, any reference to the words “friend” and “friendship” are completely missing from the latest election program – entitled “For a Germany in which we live well and happily.”
“The times in which we could fully rely on others are, to a certain extent, in the past. We Europeans must take our fate into our own hands more decisively than we have in the past,” the program said, according to Reuters.
The program also appears to suggest that Europeans can “take our fate into our own hands” by fortyfying relations with other EU nations. Under a section titled “Germany and France as the Motor of Europe,” the program says Germany is “ready, together with the new French government, to further develop the euro zone step by step, for example through the creation of its own monetary fund.”
The subtle change in language reveals just how much relations between Berlin and Washington have deteriorated since President Trump entered the White House in January.
A Pew Research Center poll released last week showed that only 35 percent of Germans have a favorable view of the United States under President Trump’s leadership, down from 57 percent when Barack Obama was president.