November 22, 2019 / 8:32 AM / 3 months ago

Commerzbank CEO calls on EU to stick to principles in face of U.S. policy

FILE PHOTO: CEO of Commerzbank AG Martin Zielke attends the annual general meeting of shareholders in Wiesbaden, Germany May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Commerzbank’s (CBKG.DE) chief executive criticised the U.S. administration for unilateral dealmaking on Friday and called for Germany and Europe to “stick to our principles”.

Martin Zielke’s comments come as Europe debates strengthening its banking and capital markets union, while the European Union is under strain from Britain’s planned exit.

Zielke told prominent bankers at an annual conference in Frankfurt that the United States under President Donald Trump wanted to make deals, unilaterally if possible.

“We should not be tempted by the false slogan of ‘Nation first’ solutions. On the contrary, we should do all that is possible to overcome the deep divisions that we observe in some societies,” Zielke said.

“We should not allow ourselves to be reduced simply to dealmakers,” he added.

Trump has pursued an “America First” approach that aims to bring troops back from “endless wars” and rebalance trade agreements in favour of the U.S.

Multilaterialism, compromise and consensus are “at the heart” of the EU’s success, Zielke said, urging progress on a deeper banking union in the bloc.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Michelle Martin and Alexander Smith

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