Change takes time, Merkel tells Egypt

5th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Saturday on Egyptians to show patience, saying regime change must be properly organised, citing her own experience in German reunification in 1990.

"There will be a change in Egypt, and of course a change must take place in a peaceful and a sensible way," Merkel told the Munich Security Conference in a speech.

Merkel said that when the Berlin Wall was torn down in a peaceful uprising in November 1989, people in communist East Germany -- where she grew up and was living -- were impatient for unification with West Germany.

"Even though it is not directly comparable (with Egypt), we didn't want to wait a single day," Merkel said. "We wanted to have the deutschmark right away. We didn't want to wait until German reunification took place.

"But when it took place in October (1990) and we saw the scale of the necessary transition we were quite happy that some people had prepared things properly."

She added: "This means that change be organised, and we the European Union, as said yesterday (Friday), want to be able to help arrange this organisation (in Egypt)."

At a summit in Brussels, the 27 EU governments said Egypt's "transition process must start now" and issued a veiled threat to suspend aid.

Egypt's defiant President Hosni Mubarak showed no sign of quitting Saturday after a "departure day" drawing tens of thousands opposed to his 30-year grip on power and international calls for him to quit.

© 2011 AFP

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