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Germans think Europe can look after itself without help from US

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A majority of Germans think Europe can defend itself without military support from the United States, a poll has shown, reported The Independent (UK).

Only 37 per cent of respondents said they believed Europe depended on US military help, the Forsa poll showed.

It came less than two weeks after Donald Trump said he could withdraw support for Nato if Europe did not share more of what he called an unfair burden on US taxpayers funding the alliance.

The survey found no significant difference between eastern and western German regions, the latter of which have stronger ties to the United States.

In the east, 60 per cent thought Europe did not need Washington, and in the west, 55 per cent.

On 12 July, Mr Trump issued his ultimatum to European allies, urging the continent to spend more on defence if it wants to continue to receive American protection.

In a rebuke to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the US president also called Germany a “captive” of Moscow because, he said, Berlin supported a Baltic Sea gas pipeline from Russia.

About 84 per cent of respondents said Mr Trump’s comments about Russia controlling Germany were “completely absurd”, according to the poll, which surveyed 1,004 Germans.

Even more – 92 per cent – said they suspected Mr Trump’s motive for making the comments was primarily to promote the sale of US liquefied gas in Europe and Germany.

Two thirds said they supported the construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline because it would help provide Germany with a more reliable supply of natural gas.

A previous poll found Germans would welcome the withdrawal of 35,000 American troops stationed in their country.

The YouGov poll for the dpa news agency found 42 per cent said they supported withdrawal, while 37 per cent wanted the soldiers to stay and 21 per cent were undecided.

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Tags: u.s., germany
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