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Merkel 'worried' future of EU under threat - 'harder and harder' to find compromises

Angela Merkel avoids handshake with Ursula von der Leyen

The German Chancellor revealed she is "worried" compromises were becoming "harder and harder" to find between Brussels and member states. In a farewell interview, Ms Merkel said she was worried "it is getting harder and harder" to find compromises between European Union countries on major issues such as migration and the rule of law. Speaking German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung Ms Merkel said: "It is imperative to do everything possible to find a way to keep Europe together."

She warned against growing reluctance to compromise and the rise of nationalism in countries like Poland and Hungary.

Ms Merkel added: "It's getting harder and harder at the moment and I'm quite worried."

The German chancellor described the political climate in Germany as becoming "harsher".

She described this as a consequence of social media.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Image: GETTY)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Image: GETTY)

Ms Merkel said: "I fear that we are increasingly having problems with compromise-building, which is essential in democracy."

On Friday finished what is possibly her last European Council meeting in Brussels.

She spoke about the current difficulties between the EU and Poland over the rule of law.

She urged her political counterparts to seek compromises and de-escalate political conflicts within the union.

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EC president Ursula von der Leyen and Angela Merkel

EC president Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)

Speaking to Süddeutsche Zeitung she said: "I became Chancellor and inherited two major projects: the euro and freedom of movement in the Schengen area.

"Both projects were not prepared for shocks.

"When the euro came under pressure, we had no safeguards whatsoever."

Ms Merkel then went on to state that the EU's monetary and banking policy "were absolutely necessary to preserve this cornerstone of European integration and prevent it from collapsing" .

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Angela Merkel fact file

Angela Merkel fact file (Image: Express)

She added: "I admit that we are not yet as far along in securing the Schengen area as we are in securing the euro area."

After 16 years as Germany’s Chancellor, Ms Merkel is preparing to step down later this year.

She was replaced by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as the leader of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party after 18 years in the post.

Armin Laschet is now CDU leader.

Seen as a steady and analytical leader, she became Germany's first female chancellor in 2005.