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Saturday, April 20, 2024

No promises for Merkel

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was happy to dine with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at an historic castle north of Berlin Wednesday evening, but he didn’t come with any promises on more financial contributions to help solve the euro crisis.

Meseberg, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday evening. PHOTO: Bundesforbund

Merkel hosted Stoltenberg at Germany’s official guest house, Meseberg, when she’s also welcomed the US and Russian presidents. The two exchanged various kudos and pleasantries before heading in to a private, bilateral dinner, with Merkel once again expressing her sympathy following the attacks on Stoltenberg’s government and Labour Party last summer and Stoltenberg thanking her for her support. He also thanked the German tourists who helped in rescue efforts for victims of the massacre on the island of Utøya.

But there were no offers of extra funding beyond Norway’s contributions to the International Monetary Fund. “We have made it clear we are prepared to increase our deposits in the IMF,” Stoltenberg said, but he characterized that money as “loans, where we demand collateral and interest.”

Merkel, under enormous pressure over the euro crisis, said she expected the “close cooperation we always have had with Norway” to continue, and that Norway can contribute towards maintaining employment opportunities in Europe.

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