• Germany's news in English

Discord overshadows Franco-German harmony

The Local · 23 Sep 2012, 15:40

Published: 23 Sep 2012 15:40 GMT+02:00

reconciliation, there was disagreement at the weekend about plans to monitor Europe's crisis-hit banks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande met on Saturday at the Baroque palace in Ludwigsburg, southwestern Germany, where Charles de Gaulle gave a watershed speech to German youth in 1962.

But despite affirmations that European unity was the only way out of the debt turmoil lashing the euro, they differed over a key plank of crisis-fighting: tighter checks on the European banking sector.

"I support a banking union, it is an important measure and we must proceed step-by-step," Hollande told reporters, while stressing that such a framework should be in place "the earlier the better".

Merkel, for her part, said Berlin also backed European oversight of lenders but urged a more cautious approach, saying haste could prove costly.

"For me it is important that quality is ensured. It is pointless to do something very quickly that in the end doesn't work," she said.

"It must be thorough, it must be of good quality and then we'll see how long it takes. We will get our finance ministers to work with each other on it as quickly as possible."

EU leaders agreed the new bank supervision system in June as part of a deal to allow the bloc's rescue funds to lend directly to stricken banks instead of passing aid through countries and so adding to their debt woes.

It is a first step towards a banking union and dovetails with moves towards the deeper economic and political cooperation aimed at taming the debt crisis which has brought the eurozone economy to a standstill.

But the proposal has driven a wedge between Germany and France, the team that sees itself as the engine of European integration.

While France would like to hand the European Central Bank power to supervise all 6,000 eurozone banks from January, Germany would like it to only keep an eye on big banks and is in little hurry.

Story continues below…

Merkel and Hollande were celebrating the day 50 years ago when De Gaulle spoke to young Germans, in their own language and without notes, and offered a new beginning in bilateral ties.

Merkel and Hollande, who have struggled to keep their initial friction to a minimum since the president took office in May, also discussed a mooted merger between EADS and Britain's BAE to create what would be the global aeronautics industry’s sector leader.

France and Germany hold major stakes in EADS, while the British state has a golden share in BAE. Saturday's festivities were the latest in a series of events celebrating 50 years of partnership between the wartime foes, now the EU's two biggest economies.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:17 September 23, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Where is the European harmony, guys? I read here that this was going to bring harmony and save us from wars. No, I must be confused. I guess, you guys were talking about the harmony of the Arab Spring, right? Or something about the 'Global Warming' threat?

Its a good thing that I get all my news @ theLoco.de! I would hate to actually learn the truth, ever.
21:29 September 23, 2012 by Hendrich Stein
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure they say.

To this regard I suspect acting sooner than later is on order.

No lessons learned from failed policies that still risk seeking to act after the damage becomes irreversible... and reflected best by the beneficiaries, the larger players at the expense of of the little guy all along.

United Europe will stand, divided it will fall, in this oxymoron of a Union amid diversified interests.

Germany can save the day... but will it determines to be seen should they reciprocate the great liberties they were extended in able for them to exist, let alone become who they are today, Europe's economic powerhouse.
23:07 September 23, 2012 by usman.iftikhar
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
02:24 September 24, 2012 by sonriete
Better to take plenty of time to study this and make sure it comes out right, as Merkel says.

The rushed into the Euro prematurely and look at all the misery we have now with these endless bail outs, all the money made from a lower currency now goes to the bail outs anyway, where is the benefit?
Today's headlines
The Local List
5 ways German schools trump the US and UK
Students in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

5 ways German schools trump the US and UK

10 hours ago

A new report reveals how Germany's education system stacks up against the United States and the UK - with good news for kids in the Federal Republic.

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months
Photo: Polizei Herford

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months

11 hours ago

A woman in western Germany was horrified on Sunday after finding a scorpion in her bed that had stowed away during her sunshine holiday this summer.

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds
Schleswig-Holstein is official Germany's happiest state, according to this year's poll. Photo: DPA

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds

12 hours ago

Want to find your happy place in Germany? You might want to move to Schleswig-Holstein, according to the latest "Happiness Atlas" produced by Deutsche Post.

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight
The Bundeswehr on operation in Mali. Photo: DPA

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight

15 hours ago

Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, to provide some relief to France in its global fight against Isis jihadists.

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas
Swastikas are often daubed on mosques and Jewish grave stones, among other things. File photo: DPA

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas

16 hours ago

A teacher from central Germany has been ordered to pay a €1,000 fine after he painted over swastikas which had been sprayed on public property.

Refugee crisis
Merkel tries to hit tough-but-fair note on refugees
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Wednesday morning. Photo: DPA

Merkel tries to hit tough-but-fair note on refugees

16 hours ago

Angela Merkel continued her balancing act between her party and her principles in a speech to MPs on Wednesday as she attempted to reassure parliament that she had the refugee crisis under control.

Lufthansa air crews call off strike
Lufthansa. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa air crews call off strike

17 hours ago

Air crew union UFO announced on Wednesday that it has decided to call off a planned strike against Lufthansa, after the airline made significant concessions.

Refugee crisis
German asylum law is 'magnet for refugees'
Günter Oettinger. Photo: DPA

German asylum law is 'magnet for refugees'

18 hours ago

Germany's asylum law is responsible for luring so many refugees to Europe and needs changing, said the country’s EU commissioner Günther Oettinger on Wednesday.

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant
An RWE brown coal mine. Photo: DPA

Peruvian farmer sues German energy giant

19 hours ago

A Peruvian farmer has filed a landmark lawsuit against German energy giant RWE, saying that the company's fossil fuel emissions endanger his family, livelihood and hometown, a German NGO said Tuesday.

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots
Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg. Photo: DPA

Bishop buys €300k altar as refugee home rots

1 day ago

The Bishop of Augsburg has announced plans to build a €300,000 altar in the city cathedral, just days after complaining that the city was underfunding refugees.

Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd