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Merkel takes aim at US ‘winners and losers’ policy before G20

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sharply criticised US policy under President Donald Trump on Wednesday, two days before they are due to meet at the G20 summit, for being based on a “winners and losers” view of the world rather than on cooperation.

Merkel will host the two-day meeting of G20 leaders that starts on Friday in Hamburg. Along with Trump, others attending include Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan.

The talks are expected to be tricky as the agenda includes divisive issues such as free trade and climate change.

“As G20 president, it is my job to work on possibilities for agreement and not to contribute to a situation where a lack of communication prevails,” she told Die Zeit weekly.

However, she added that differences should not be pushed under the table.

“While we are looking at the possibilities of cooperation to benefit everyone, globalisation is seen by the American administration more as a process that is not about a win-win situation but about winners and losers,” she said.

She said comments from a Trump security advisor that the world was an arena, not a global community, contradicted her views.

Infographic: Most G20 States Are Running a Deficit | Statista

Germany wants everyone to benefit from economic progress rather than only a few, she said.

Europe must pool its energy, she said, adding that ideas of an economic government for the eurozone and of a European finance minister, put forward by new French President Emmanuel Macron, were “two important thoughts”.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to march in the city this week against globalisation and what they say is corporate greed and a failure to tackle climate change.

Merkel said she respected peaceful demonstrators in Hamburg but “anyone who gets violent spurns democracy”.

German police used water cannon to disperse around 500 anti-capitalist protesters overnight in Hamburg.

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