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Germany: US ambassador Grenell to step down from his post

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Germans reacted on Tuesday to reports of US ambassador Richard Grenell stepping down from his post in the country. Parliamentary leader of Die Linke (The Left) Bundestag Fraction, Dietmar Bartsch, raised concerns about what this move would mean for Germany.

“During the term of Donald Trump, we have had the problem ​that for a long period of time there was no ambassador at all, and now currently Mr. Grenell is not often in Germany. I really see this as a problem. We need an ambassador, and specifically an ambassador who perceives the chance to improve the relations between the America and Germany,” stated Bartsch.

“I wish for someone who really is a friend of German-American relations and not a messenger of Trumps politics, who makes demands here in Germany and Europe,” added Bartsch, slamming Grenell’s behaviour during his time as ambassador in the country.

Advocating for US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy since he took over the job in Berlin around two years ago, Grenell issued warnings against German companies trying to make businesses with Iran, criticised Berlin’s commitment to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Russia, and blamed the country for scare contributions in military spending.

According to reports, Grenell’s popularity among German politicians is purportedly consider rather rare, with even Christian Democratic Union (CDU) lawmaker Andreas Nick accusing him in a tweet of “leaving issuing threats as if he were representing a hostile power.”

Ruptly asked lawmaker Nick if he wanted to speak about his post on the social media platform but he declined to provide any further comments.

Richard Grenell, who finds himself currently also acting as Director of the National intelligence (DNI) since February, is reportedly set to step down from both positions, following the US Senate confirmation to appoint John Ratcliffe as his successor.

*SOUNDBITES*

SOT, Hubert Mummenhoff, Hohen Neuendorf resident (German): “So for me the man was completely not visible, but when he was, only negatively. The things one hears in the media, or on television when he was on a talk show, that was for me very sketchy.”

SOT, Hubert Mummenhoff, Hohen Neuendorf resident (German): ​”For me, an ambassador, is very clearly a bridge builder between the country where he is, and the country where he comes from. He has to build bridges and understanding.”

SOT, Ulrich Leber, Berlin resident (German): “I grew up with the feeling that America is a very good and caring friend of the Federal Republic. I lost this hope lately with President Donald Trump.”

SOT, Ulrich Leber, Berlin resident (German): “When the new ambassador [Richard Grenell] came, this feeling was strengthened in me, that this is not a good relationship.”

SOT, Ulrich Leber, Berlin resident (German):​ “I had the feeling he is making a racket and this was my very first impression of this man.”

SOT, Dietmar Bartsch, Co-leader of Die Linke Bundestag Fraction​ (German): “During the term of Donald Trump, we have had the problem ​that for a long period of time there was no ambassador at all, and now currently Mr. Grenell is not often in Germany. I really see this as a problem. We need an ambassador, and specifically an ambassador who perceives the chance to improve the relations between the America and Germany.”

SOT, Dietmar Bartsch, Co-leader of Die Linke Bundestag Fraction​ (German): “I am very much concerned, that there will be a switchyard now, which lasts until after the elections in the United States. That’s not good. I wish for someone who really is a friend of German-American relations and not a messenger of Trumps politics, who makes demands here in Germany and Europe. That is not the task of an ambassador.”

Video ID: 20200526-042

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