German SPD leader seeks end to Schaeuble-style austerity

Sergio Conner
December 7, 2017

The leader of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) took aim at the Republic and criticised U.S. technology firms Apple, Facebook and Google on Thursday, saying a strong Europe was needed to make sure they stick to the rules.

The drafting process of such a constitutional treaty, Schulz said, should involve citizens across the Continent.

Schulz, who is formerly the president of the European Parliament, told the conference that he envisioned that by 2025, Europe should be governed by a single federal constitution, which would be the formation of a United States of Europe.

Any EU members who did not agree with this federal constitution should then automatically leave the EU, said Schulz.

He made the plea in a speech to 600 of his Social Democrats at a congress to decide whether to start coalition talks with Angela Merkel's party.

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I want a new constitutional treaty to establish the United States of Europe.

"Only a strong Europe can force platform giants like Facebook and Google to respect our rules and basic rights", he said. "It is the only chance we have to keep up with the other great regions of the world".

He also argued that only a strengthened European Union would stop the advance of right-wing nationalists, citing gains they had made in Germany as well as Austria, Denmark, Finland, France and the Netherlands.

'Europe is our life insurance, ' said Schulz. "Our country can not afford another four years of European policy à la [former conservative Finance Minister] Wolfgang Schäuble".

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