• Germany's news in English

Bank boss calls for EU finance minister

The Local · 21 Aug 2011, 13:35

Published: 21 Aug 2011 13:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We need a real European finance minister with the appropriate powers," Blessing wrote in a guest column in Sunday's Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

He said the recent summits between Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had produced unsatisfactory results, opening the door to a continued lack of confidence in the markets.

The top bank manager said there were only two ways out of the current debt crisis: a return to national currencies, or fiscal unity for the European Union.

Blessing said the idea of a common economic government was the first step in the right direction, but that it was currently not being implemented forcefully enough.

"The instruments in place up till now have just bought time, but have not addressed the fundamental problems of the currency union," he wrote.

"But if we come to the conclusion that all our efforts cannot create a stable legal and political framework for our common currency, we should not shy away from abandoning the euro," he wrote.

He said that only strong institutions with the power to intervene in the budget sovereignty of individual euro-states would help. He said only this would force national governments to stick to financial conditions.

Blessing also suggested the EU should be allowed to impose taxes, and to construct a common debt agency to issue government bonds.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:35 August 21, 2011 by storymann
In the months and years to come, you can expect to see Germany start to focus more on what is best for Germany - to the exclusion of what is best for Europe - even though that self-interest will come at the expense of the rest of Europe.

Germany is going to be far less likely to agree to additional bailouts for other European countries. In fact, the era of unlimited access to Germany's hefty balance sheet is just about over.

The Euro, a great idea, works best for exporting nations as it keeps the value of the currency in check but does little to improve the weaker economies that would benefit from a currency devaluation.

I think the present system of buying what in reality are junk bonds from heavy indebted nations by the ECB a huge mistake. This may give a temporary relief to the currency but in the end these countries are going to go bankrupt and those bonds which are the only collateral the ECB has is going to send the ECB down the same road.
14:46 August 21, 2011 by maxpayne
I wonder if this new minister will be as effective as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (aka EU Foreign Minister).
15:46 August 21, 2011 by Sastry.M
Technically speaking Herr Blessing's suggestions may truly reflect his genuine intentions as an economist under the present troublesome conditions. However, it may not address the national characteristics of different European people ailing with debt problems.

Although many European nations have simply adopted Roman script in common for their respective languages the Promissory Bank Notes of Euro currency has caused friction in negotiating individual financial transactions among themselves. Coupled with prevailing economic depression threatening even a powerful and self sustaining nation like the U.S and the ignorance of people at large feeling honored by percentages of statistical surveys and kept up credit ratings one can never realize the root cause of all these confounding crises baiting with lure for wishful wealth than view with sound economic health.

Hence Herr Blessing's suggestions may be construed as an indictment saying "Ein Geld, eine Union, ein Minister"!
20:43 August 21, 2011 by wxman
What a terrific idea! Let's put the entire German economy in the hands of some foreigner. I know, how about a Greek?
20:58 August 21, 2011 by nec123
Turkey did not join The EU.... Thanks God...! NO EU...! NO EU...! NO EU...!
00:07 August 22, 2011 by lwexcel
I remember saying as far back as 3 years ago that the Euro was simply a foundation for a monetary system that is more centralized throughout Europe, and would bind the member states economically much like each state in the United States. I also remember all but a couple of people stating 'that would never happen' and giving excuses such as culture, language, etc. etc.... Well....this is me gloating ;-)
08:25 August 22, 2011 by Traveler33
The problem with Europe is because of the Euro, the countries that are in trouble are unable to fix their current debt problems because they are tied to each other with the same currency. Greece could solve a lot of their problems by just devaluing their currency, but they can't do that because of the Euro.

The Euro was a great experiment and it worked for a while, but without a unified financial system, and government the idea just won't work in practiciality. We are seeing that now play out with Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland and soon Italy.

Countries need the opportunity to lower their currency like the US did by printing more dollars, these countries can't solve their current problem because they are tied to the Euro.

So Germany and France had better get used to financing these countries or just go back to their own currency's again and let those countries fend for themselves again.
19:32 August 23, 2011 by Nutt
The United States of Europe needs an Alexander Hamilton.
Today's headlines
Nazi POW leaves estate to 'kind' Scottish village
The former German soldier stayed on to work in the Perthshire village for a time after the war. Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP file picture

A former Nazi prisoner of war has left his entire estate in his will to a small village in Scotland to show his appreciation for the kindness he received there during his captivity.

US tries to block Chinese purchase of Aixtron
Photo: Oliver Berg / DPA / AFP

US President Barack Obama on Friday moved to block a Chinese company's purchase of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron by rejecting the inclusion of Aixtron's US business in the deal.

Merkel to chart 2017 election battle at party congress
Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP

After Donald Trump's shock victory, Francois Hollande's decision not to seek re-election and populism on the rise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is next up on the campaign podium to set out her strategy for winning in 2017 polls.

Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
This is how unequal German society has become
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
10 German books you have to read before you die
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd