US election: Merkel's foreign minister says Trump's claims 'adding fuel to fire'

Jill Petzinger
·Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2 min read
German foreign minister Heiko Maas, left, and chancellor Angela Merkel at a weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin. Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
German foreign minister Heiko Maas, left, and chancellor Angela Merkel at a weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin. Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

German leader Angela Merkel will refrain from comment on the US election until all the votes are counted, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin on Friday.

Seibert repeated his statement from Monday (2 November), that the federal government has confidence in the US democratic institutions, and that the chancellor will not comment until the appropriate time.

Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, was more forthcoming in an interview on Wednesday (3 November). “Honorable losers are more important to the functioning of a democracy than triumphant winners,” Maas told the Funke Mediengruppe, Germany’s third largest newspaper and magazine publisher.

“The US is more than a one-man show,” Maas said. He also posted the interview on Twitter. “Anyone who continues to add fuel to the fire in this current situation is acting irresponsibly.”

READ MORE: German defence minister calls the situation ‘explosive’ after Trump false victory claims

Several German politicians expressed their alarm on Wednesday morning, that Trump’s false claims of victory amounted to an assault on US democracy.

German federal defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told public broadcaster ZDF the “battle for the legitimacy of the result” had now started, describing it as a “very explosive situation.”

“Regardless of the outcome of the election, things will not go back to the way they were,” Maas said on Friday. “However, we have to mend the bridges we have so that they remain strong enough to withstand the common challenges we face. We will approach the new administration with proposals as quickly as possible.”

READ MORE: A Biden victory 'won't solve Europe's problems'

Sigmar Gabriel, Merkel’s former deputy and the foreign minister in her last administration, told the foreign press in Berlin last week that Europe can’t pin its hopes on Biden to restore the US-EU relationship, which had already changed even before Trump became president.

Biden will “certainly value partnerships and alliances,” Gabriel said “but this won’t solve Europe’s problems… that will depend on Europe beefing up its geopolitical weight so that we can become a partner to be taken seriously in the US, as well as in China and Russia.”

US election: The current situation in the swing states