• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Merkel denies mulling plan to split eurozone

The Local · 10 Nov 2011, 15:21

Published: 10 Nov 2011 12:27 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Nov 2011 15:21 GMT+01:00

"We have a single goal and it is to stabilise the eurozone as it is today, to make it more competitive, to make progress in balancing budgets," she told reporters when asked whether the eurozone must prepare for debt-mired Italy to exit.

"We believe this common euro area is also capable of thoroughly winning back its credibility, that means for every single country," she said after talks with Romanian President Traian Basescu. "That is the reason we have always said that solidarity with a country is linked to efforts toward budgetary consolidation."

Merkel called for Italy's political situation to be rapidly clarified after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced he would resign after economic reforms are adopted.

"I believe that it is extremely important ... the political leadership is clarified as quickly as possible since that, I believe, is very important for Italy's credibility," Merkel said.

She also wished a new Greek government "all possible success" in grappling with its own debt drama, which has plunged the eurozone into the worst crisis in its history.

"Germany will do all it can to work as well as possible" with the new Greek administration, after Greek President Carolos Papoulias asked former European

Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos to form a new government.

Reports from Brussels on Wednesday night suggested that Germany and France were considering allowing eurozone countries unable to get their economies on track, to leave the currency area.

Merkel is likely to face pressure to do exactly that from within her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) at a party conference next week. MPs are preparing a motion which calls for countries to be allowed to opt to leave the currency union – but remain within the European Union, according to the Handelsblatt daily on Thursday.

"The strategy until now of defending every millimetre of the eurozone is, in the long term, the most expensive solution for Germany," the paper quoted CDU Euro MP Markus Pieper as saying.

The European Union's Lisbon Treaty, the bloc's rule-book, does not provide for a country to quit the eurozone without leaving the European Union, the EU's executive arm said last week.

Another CDU proposal to overhaul the balance of power within the European Central Bank is also likely to feature at the party's congress in Leipzig on Monday and Tuesday.

The party wants votes at the bank’s policy-setting governing council to be weighted according to a country's economic size and importance, rather than each of the 17 eurozone member states having an equal say, as is currently the case.

European Currency Commissioner Olli Rehn warned on Thursday that the escalating crisis could plunge the whole of Europe into recession. “Growth in Europe has reached a standstill and there is the risk of a renewed recession,” he said.

If the aid for Greece fails to bite into the country’s debt mountain, that could reach nearly 200 percent of gross domestic product over the next two years, warned the Commission in its autumn forecast.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also warned against talking up the possibility of splitting the European Union between euro and non-euro countries. “A divided union would not work,” he said during a speech in Berlin on Wednesday night, the Handelsblatt reported.

He said stronger integration within the eurozone on economic and finance policy was important but should not be followed at a cost to the non-euro states. The European Union as a whole and the eurozone belong together, he stressed, while urging more countries to join the common currency.

“All EU members should have the euro as their currency,” he said. But then he said the slowest state in the EU should not be allowed to dictate the speed of further integration, while there must be security provision for those which opt out or move at a slower pace. At the same time, Barroso said no member state should be allowed to hinder others from further integration.

Head of the eurozone group, Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker, said the debt crisis currently shaking the region was due to poor state finances rather than being a specific euro problem. “It makes me angry when I hear that the euro is in crisis,” he said, according to the Handelsblatt.

Story continues below…

Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer added his voice to the debate, calling for an “avant-garde” European Union to be formed from the 17 eurozone states which would tighten political links, leaving those without the common currency behind.

“Let’s forget the EU of 27. Sadly. But I simply do not see that theses 27 states can manage to undertake any kind of meaningful reform,” he told Thursday’s edition of the weekly paper Die Zeit.

Those countries with the euro should instead take the Schengen border agreement as an example and, “create an avant-garde,” he said.

“What we now need is a ten-point plan for Europe, similar to that which (former German Chancellor Helmut) Kohl organised German unity back then. We need a ten-point plan for a political union. ”

The Local/AFP/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:11 November 10, 2011 by raandy
Common Chancellor you have at least thought about it.
17:39 November 10, 2011 by Englishted
¦quot;All EU members should have the euro as their currency,¦quot;

O.K. if you believe in democracy give all members of the E.U. a vote to stay or leave or join .

The silence will be deafening.

Joschka Fischer is also a non-democrat ,closer political union ,just ask the voters for a change.
21:00 November 10, 2011 by coffejohn
We in the UK are looking on and wondering how long Germany is going to let this farce continue.

You seem to be determined to drive your own currency into the ground, to be buried under a mountain of EZone debt.

In the process you are condemning the rest of the EZone to another bout of recession, at best.

In the UK we have a saying, "pride go`s before a fall".

John Hawkins,England
22:48 November 10, 2011 by derExDeutsche
so it seems it is the 'European Autumn'. Quite different from what commenters on this forum have been predicting for years.
00:00 November 11, 2011 by jstar100
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:26 November 11, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@jstar100

agreed, and now that every Marxist Kook scheme and program has exploded in our collective faces; it is time for the left to blame Capitalism for Governments failure.

Watch for the Kooks to try and spin the blame away from failed Govt. schemes, policy, and onto 'Capitalism', 'Banksters' and International Finance. Its called the 'Occupy' movement.
Today's headlines
Is German diplomacy getting too chummy with Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA/AFP Pool.

Critics have been questioning the German Foreign Minister's recent series of comments about working closer with Russia, with some labelling the diplomat a "Russia-sympathizer".

Police investigate after mosque door is bricked shut
The bricked-up door. Photo: Facebook/Netzwerk für Flüchtlinge in Parchim.

Unknown people have bricked up the entrance to a mosque in northeastern Germany and stuck racist flyers to their masonry work.

Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

Law to force mums to give up identity of child's real father
Photo: DPA

Germany has drafted a law requiring mothers to inform their partners if their children were fathered by another man, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

Gallery
Germans race bulls too, but with a difference
Photo: DPA

The most important sporting events only happen every four years: the World Cup, the Olympics, and of course the Münsing ox race.

Attempted murder charge for Isis teen who stabbed cop
A police officer stands on a train platform at Hannover main station. Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Monday they had brought charges against a 16-year-old girl who allegedly stabbed a policeman in February in an operation for Isis.

Nearly 9,000 refugee children reported missing: report
Refugee children in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

German media reported on Monday that the number of refugee children reported as missing has doubled to reach nearly 9,000.

EU nations must not refuse Muslim migrants: Merkel
Photo: DPA

The refusal of some EU countries to accept Muslim refugees is "unacceptable", Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday as Germany called for quotas to divide the influx throughout the bloc.

Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
7,447
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd