Angela Merkel warns Joe Biden to expect ‘arguments’

Angela Merkel warns Joe Biden to expect ‘arguments’

German chancellor says relief at new US administration should not stop Europe assuming more responsibility

Angela Merkel has warned that she will not agree with new US president Joe Biden on everything, and that even with a new administration in Washington, Europe will have to take on more military and diplomatic responsibility in the world.

“Don’t think that from tomorrow there will only be harmony between us,” she told reporters just a day after Mr Biden’s inauguration. “There will also be arguments about how best to do things for our two countries.”

Mr Biden’s entry into the White House was met with huge relief in Germany, which was routinely attacked by his predecessor Donald Trump over everything from its large current account surplus and relatively low defence spending to its support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.

But Ms Merkel emphasised that she did not always see eye-to-eye with Mr Biden either, saying that when he was vice-president they had clashed on the wisdom of selling weapons to Ukraine.