In a tense tournament overshadowed by violent clashes between fans, the threat of terrorism and striking French rail-workers, defending world champion Germany delivered a dose of predictability on the field at Euro 2016 on Sunday evening: a solid victory over Ukraine.
Die Mannschaft has reached at least the semifinals of every major tournament since the 2006 World Cup.
Though the business end of the tournament is still weeks away, Germany took a confident first step. The side dominated from the outset with more than 60% of possession, quick passing and more than twice as many shots as its opponent on its way to a 2-0 victory, the largest so far at these European Championships. A disciplined Ukrainian defensive bloc frustrated the Germans at times, but they never lost control.
“A machine is a machine,” Ukraine head coach Mykhaylo Fomenko said after the game.
Winners of the World Cup in Brazil two years ago, Germany is under pressure for a repeat performance at Euro 2016, a tournament it has won three times—although not since 1996. The build-up to the competition was far from reassuring with Germany losing three of its five exhibition matches, including one to Slovakia, the world’s 24th-ranked team.
The Speaker, serving the visit to Germany, commented to media concerning the meeting of the Interior Ministers of EU member states on June 10 in Brussels and the expectations of the meeting. The meeting is important but not crucial, he stated.
“We will have lots of crucial days ahead, so tomorrow is not the last day. Moreover, we do not expect any concrete decisions from tomorrow’s meeting because the agreement intends to be that the early termination mechanism for visa liberalization developed by EU not only for Georgia but for any other country, shall be undertaken prior to endorsement of visa liberalization. So, tomorrow’s meeting is not an ordinary meeting but it is not crucial either. We shall not be either optimistic or pessimistic for tomorrow’s meeting”.
As he stated, today he was assured that visa liberalization will soon be solved. He elucidated that the issue of Georgian criminals is not related with visa liberalization.
“Today’s meetings with MPs, other influential competent persons once more assure us that we deal with protraction of the process and not with any graver issue. It means that the issue will be soon solved. Besides, Georgian criminals are put under exaggerated PR. It is the issue to be separately considered and discussed and it is and cannot be related to visa liberalization. And finally, soon Georgian PM plans to visit Germany. There will be other contacts and other concrete dates if the decision format will be known later”.
He is much hopeful after the visit to Germany for logical accomplishment of the process and that Georgia has a reliable partner – Germany.
“I cherish hopes that this process will come to the logical end and that Germany is our reliable partner and friend and if sometimes pace of our desires do not coincides – what we want to happen and when, it cannot put shade on our partnership on main strategic issues. All the parties realize necessity to accomplish the process before the Elections. Moreover, today at the meeting with our counterparts, almost all German MPs expressed solidarity, considering that it was not necessary to make much ado about nothing. It shall not put shade on our bilateral relations and relations with EU. Today, Germany appears to carry the heavier burden, so we shall maintain partnership regime”.
As he estimated: “If any issues are considered with Ukraine, I do not consider it as a threat but if Georgia encounters impediments due to Ukraine, Turkey or any other country, it will not be correct as vice versa, if any other countries encounter impediments due to Georgia. For instance, if Moldova is told that Georgia needs 1 year and Moldova is to wait too – it would not be right. So, we do not want other countries to be impeded”.