Exclusive Interview Obama Fears Further Division of Industrialized Nations

Barack Obama / ARD / DER SPIEGEL / Interview

Barack Obama is worried about his legacy. In an exclusive interview with DER SPIEGEL and German public broadcaster ARD, the US president discusses economic responsibility, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the plans of his successor Donald Trump.

On his final trip to Germany as US president, Barack Obama has offered words of praise for Chancellor Angela Merkel. “She has great credibility and she is willing to fight for those values in a way that is very, very important,” Obama said in an exclusive interview conducted jointly by DER SPIEGEL and German public broadcaster ARD on Thursday in Berlin. “I’m glad that she’s there. I think the German people should appreciate her. Certainly I have appreciated her as a partner.”

Obama also warned of the dangers of underestimating the impact of globalization on some people. “If the global economy is unresponsive to people who feel left behind, if inequality continues to grow, then we could end up seeing more and more of these divisions arise throughout advanced economies around the world,” he said.

Addressing president-elect Donald Trump’s plans for the US healthcare system and the Obamacare health insurance system nicknamed after him, Obama told ARD and DER SPIEGEL: “He says that he can improve on that system. And my view is that if in fact he can provide the same amount of people with healthcare in a better way than I could, then I would support such efforts.”

The interview, conducted by DER SPIEGEL Editor in Chief Klaus Brinkbäumer and ARD reporter Sonia Mikich, will be streamed here on SPIEGEL ONLINE at 8:11 p.m. CET (7:11 p.m. GMT, 2:11 p.m. EST, 1:11 p.m. CST and 11:11 a.m. PST).



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