BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for restraint in dealing with Italy's new populist government, arguing that the relationship should not start with "suspicions and assumptions."
Italy's government took office last week amid fears in Germany that it will disregard the European Union's financial rules. Merkel will meet new Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte for the first time at this week's Group of Seven summit in Canada.
Merkel said in Berlin on Thursday "we should talk with each other before we keep on talking about each other."
She said she agrees with her finance minister that "we should restrain ourselves a bit," adding it should be made clear that "Europe is based on certain rules" but good cooperation is the priority.
Merkel added: "That's how it must start, and not with suspicions and assumptions."