Germany’s business and political leaders are lining up to support a tougher stance on Russia, giving Chancellor Angela Merkel critical backing as she pushes her European Union counterparts to expand sanctions.
Industry group chiefs and lawmakers from Merkel’s governing coalition are expressing the need for deeper measures targeting Russia’s economy following the downing of Malaysia Air (MAS) Flight 17. Public opinion has also shifted, with a majority of Germans now favoring wider actions against Russia.
“This shooting down of a plane is really a turning point,” Martin Wansleben, head of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said in an interview. “It’s such an outrageous act that one must give a clear response.”