Zetsche on EU: Relish the peace

Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.
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Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says it is important not to lose sight of the many benefits of a united Europe. One he never takes for granted is peace.

“I was born in 1953 after centuries of terrible wars within Europe. I have lived all my life in peace and constantly enjoy the privilege of crossing national frontiers without even realizing it, of being friends with people from Italy, from France, from Great Britain, from wherever,” Zetsche said last week at a press event in Italy.

He was responding to questions on what he thought about anti-EU sentiment in the run up to four days of voting across the 28-nation bloc to choose the next members of the European Parliament. Voting started Thursday and ends Sunday.

The CEO admitted that the aim of achieving an even more united Europe was highly ambitious in the current climate. He added, however, that everyone benefits when there is open discussion on things such as the development of the euro and ways of addressing current economic difficulties.

"Sometimes we lose sight of that when we’re discussing such contentious matters as whether it’s right to legislate on olive oil or on restaurant tables. We need to frequently remind each other what a fantastic thing we have accomplished together [in creating a united Europe] and how much more we have in common than we have that sets us apart. We also need to remember that these differences are part of our strength.”

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