Sunday May 19, 201301:11 AM GMT
Germany’s ex-Chancellor: Thatcher behind UK-EU tensions
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:9PM
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Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s hostility towards a closer Europe has been the main reason behind tensions between Britain and the European Union (EU), Germany's ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl says.


In an interview with the Times, Kohl said Thatcher’s stubbornness had blocked progress in the 1980s towards achieving a more deeply integrated political union.

“She was difficult, just as our relationship was difficult,” Kohl told the paper.

"[Thatcher] wanted Europe, but a different Europe from that wanted by most of her European colleagues and me. From our point of view, this antagonism characterizes British policy on Europe to this day," he added.

Kohl and Thatcher’s clashes go back to the 1980s, when the Berlin Wall fell and Thatcher opposed Kohl’s move to reunify east and west Germany.

Germany’s former Chancellor explained his ill health would prevent him from attending Thatcher’s funeral next Wednesday.

The death of former British Prime Minister on Monday, April 8 unleashed a hail of street parties and other joyful reactions across Britain.

MOS/SSM/HE
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