BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel is criticizing her agriculture minister's unilateral decision to cast Germany's vote in favor of extending the use of the weed killer glyphosate at the European level, which complicates her domestic political situation.
Merkel said Tuesday that Germany should have abstained from the EU vote Monday, and that Christian Schmidt's move did "not reflect the direction given by the government" and "is something that cannot be repeated."
The extension was opposed by Social Democrats in Merkel's caretaker government. Schmidt's decision, which he said he reached on his own, complicates the chancellor's already challenging task of forging a new coalition with the center-left party going forward.
Schmidt is a member of her conservative bloc's Bavaria-only Christian Social Union, whose support Merkel also needs, making possible disciplinary action more difficult.