January 17, 2018 / 1:28 PM / a year ago

Merkel optimistic Germany can work well with Austria on EU issues

German Chancellor Angela Merkel shakes hands with Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz after a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after meeting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday she was optimistic their governments could work together closely on European Union issues.

“I want to make clear we will gauge the new Austrian government by its actions, and I told the chancellor this,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin with Kurz.

“That is what counts and the things I have just heard on Europe policy make me confident we can achieve very close cooperation,” she added. Kurz said he wanted an EU in which tensions decreased, rather than increased, between member states.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Paul Carrel, editing by Thomas Escritt

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