On Tuesday, President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a joint press conference to discuss the common issues of their respective administrations. In his opening statements, the President extolled upon the virtues of his close relationship with Merkel.
“Angela, I believe this is our tenth meeting together. That doesn’t include the many phone calls and video conferences that we seem to have at all hours of the day and night. There’s hardly any global issue where we don’t consult one another,” Obama said, according to the White House’s transcript of the press conference.
“I’ve said before I always value Angela’s pragmatic approach to complex issues, her intelligence, her frankness. I trust her. And as she’s said herself, it’s just fun to work together. And it has been, again, fun today, even as we’ve addressed some very urgent challenges.”
The pair then answered a variety of questions from the assembled press. The discussion was largely about the world’s economy.
“We… have a set of long-term competitiveness challenges that aren’t so different from what Germany or any advanced country is having to go through in the 21st century, where we have emerging markets who are becoming more competitive themselves. And we’re going to have to step up our game,” the President said.
Merkel was less sympathetic. “As far as the situation in the United States is concerned, I think each and every one ought to deal with his or her own problems. We in Europe have our hands full already with what we need to do, and I’m absolutely convinced that as we shoulder our responsibility and meet our responsibility, so will the United States of America,” she said.
“I think people on both sides of the Atlantic are understandably frustrated with the ups and downs of the economy, the world economy,” Obama said.