German Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier believes that everything will be fine: Brexit, the economy, the grand coalition.
Whether Brexit or a trade war with the USA: For Peter Altmaier, the biggest concerns of the German economy have vanished for now.
Increased clarity about Britain’s planned departure from the European Union has helped Germany avert the danger of a recession, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in remarks published on Friday.
Altmaier also said he expects trade tensions between the United States and the European Union to ease. Donald Trump and the European Commission have imposed tariffs on traded goods and the U.S. president has threatened to impose levies on European cars and car parts.
“I don’t think that the U.S. president has a big interest in having a trade war with Europe one year before the election,” Der Spiegel quoted Altmaier as saying.
SPIEGEL: Minister, after the British general election it is clear that Brexit will come at the end of January. Does this threaten the German economy with new turbulence, perhaps even a recession?
Altmaier: It doesn’t look like it. The British decision to leave the EU is still unfortunate, but now we have the chance of an orderly Brexit with a contract and a transition period. The EU and the UK now have around a year to reorganise their future relationships. We want Britain to remain an important partner of the EU in the future.
SPIEGEL: Can the negotiations be completed in a year?
Altmaier: We finally have clarity. I know Boris Johnson from my time as Chancellor. He is a highly intelligent politician who is interested in a good relationship with Germany and the EU. So I am not afraid of the negotiations.
SPIEGEL: So far, he has rather given the impression that his Brexit plans are similar
Peter Altmaier heads the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, prior to that he was Minister in the Chancellor’s Office and has been acting Federal Minister of Finance since 24 October 2017. Altmaier has been a Member of the German Bundestag since 1994.