Friday, 25 November 2011

Merkel denies eurozone remedies twice

In concrete terms the French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the German chancellor Angela Merkel accepted the invitations from the Italian prime minister Mario Monti to visit Rome in a near future.

At the mini-summit in Strasbourg (Elysée video) president Sarkozy repeated the promise of treaty modification proposals from France and Germany ahead of the European Council 9 December 2011. He did not offer any concrete information about the contents.

Merkel dug in her heels, by stressing the independence of the European Central Bank and by showing no greater willingness to adopt eurobonds than before. She welcomed the Commission proposals regarding fiscal discipline, but was negative towards eurobonds which could level the bond rates in Europe.

Essentially Merkel repeated what she had said in the Bundestag debate on the German federal budget for 2012 the previous day. A short quote from the press release shows one Yes and two times No:

Den Vorschlag der Europäischen Kommission zur Einführung von Euro-Bonds lehnte die Kanzlerin ab. Vielmehr müsse es begrenzte Änderungen der EU-Verträge und eine bessere Überwachung der Euro-Stabilitätsregeln geben. Es gebe bei Verstößen gegen den Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt bisher keine Möglichkeit einzugreifen.

Beim Euro-Rettungsfonds EFSF müssten Leitlinien festgelegt werden, die die Investoren überzeugten. Am Mandat für die Europäische Zentralbank dürfe nichts geändert werden, so Merkel.

Monti saw the need for a fiscal union which guarantees stability. In this context eurobonds are worth exploring.

Atlantico has interviewed the French EU expert Jean-Luc Sauron, who sees the need for growth as well as for repression in the eurozone.


Our national leaders never have time sort out the unanswered questions about European level democracy and legitimacy.

But I wonder if there is going to be a eurozone to save by the time our national leaders get around to effective solutions, unanimously adopted and ratified within an intergovernmental framework adored by the French leadership.

Ralf Grahn