German leaders call for "better" EU after Brexit vote

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Saturday called for a "better" EU following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

In her weekly video podcast, Merkel said the European Union's remaining 27 member states had identified three areas "where we need to improve and become more effective: Competitiveness, jobs and growth."

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel echoed Merkel's comments at a party conference, saying that "We need to make Europe better."

Gabriel said the British vote to leave the bloc in a June referendum gave Europe the chance to change to ensure more support.

"We need to start decontaminating Europe," Gabriel said, criticizing the bloc's harsh austerity measures in response to financial crises.

Horst Seehofer, the party leader of the Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) to Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), had said earlier in the week that Europe needed to focus on central issues and not get bogged down in bureacracy.

Gabriel and president of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz, had together authored a 10-point programme calling for a relaunch of the EU to strengthen the bloc and bring it closer to its citizens.

Last update: Sat, 02/07/2016 - 22:54
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