• Germany edition
'Age-old' Schmidt damns Merkel's euro policy
Photo: DPA

'Age-old' Schmidt damns Merkel's euro policy

Published: 27 Dec 2012 13:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Dec 2012 13:23 GMT+01:00

"What's missing is leadership," the 94-year-old Schmidt wrote in Die Zeit, the weekly newspaper he publishes. But at the same time he warned against Germany taking a dominate position in Europe. "Only the German-French tandem can take the lead in Europe," he said. "We should avoid a German leadership role!"

He said that even though he had been raised an Anglophile in Hamburg, he had realized in the early 1960s that "you can't do anything without France." Now he would also include Poland in that axiom, he said.

Schmidt also said that the only European figure whose anti-crisis policy had been successful in 2012 was Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank (ECB), whose decision to buy up government bonds from troubled European countries had been "relatively inflation-free."

"All the German fear-mongering about impending inflation was superfluous," Schmidt wrote. Merkel, meanwhile, had mainly worked on putting off uncomfortable truths until after the general election in autumn 2013, he added.

Schmidt also threw his weight behind the European Union project, saying all Europeans had a "moral duty" towards solidarity - which he said was the original motive behind the creation of the political bloc. "Today our solidarity with the people of Greece is just as necessary as it was then," he wrote, before quoting Social Democratic Party politician Julius Leber, who was murdered by the Nazis in the Third Reich: "The will to power must grow out of the duty to the community."

"But the duties to the European community will need a much greater contribution from all participants in the future," he wrote.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:07 December 27, 2012 by smart2012
What to say: they sound my words :)

Wise German man
15:18 December 27, 2012 by michael4096
Ah! But, would he also name himself after the world's ugliest motorcar?
16:27 December 27, 2012 by raandy
He is correct about the German -French tandem. No one in the EU wants to see Germany dominate it but it could come to this.

Actually Mrs Merkel has sided with Mario Draghi going against Weidmann,which now has committed Germany to rescue the Euro. Mario Draghi said that the ECB will buy Gov. bonds with a 3 year maturity as long as they can reach an agreement with the ESFS and then these Nations have to put themselves under the Troika for supervision. The continuation of the Euro looks reasonably assured, But, now we are going to have creditor and debtor divisions in the EU with the creditors dictating to the debtors ,which will not be easy for many EU members to accept.

Germany has placed herself as the savior of the Euro, she will either have to take the lead or leave.
17:26 December 27, 2012 by smart2012
Raandy, yours is fanta-politic. Draghi, monti and holland pushed for the agreement. German buba didn't agree. Verkel missed the agenda..
18:38 December 27, 2012 by Englishted
@ michael4096 :-) nice one.

Wise words indeed ,shame he is not younger .
19:02 December 27, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Very true and he is not the first prominant German politician who has critised Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde. From her own party Helmut Kohl also had plenty of critism of her.
19:09 December 27, 2012 by neunElf
Yes, lets spare no German's money to keep the failed Schmidt/Giscard vision on life support!
19:31 December 27, 2012 by Tonne
Schmidt's view of a France - Germany - Poland axis makes sense geographicallly, politically and (once Poland joins the Euro-zone) economically, but I'm not sure of his view that you can't do anything without France.

In the past, France has been only too keen to use its veto to safeguard French interests, without any consideration of European solidarity or of budget restraint. Now that the EU is moving eastwards, perhaps it is time to dispense with the caravan train between Strasbourg and Brussels and move everything to Brussels.
19:54 December 27, 2012 by sonriete
With the EU moving eastward, what is the logic of moving everything to the far west of the continent in Brussels?

Perhaps Vienna would be more geographically and culturally appropriate, especially if Ukraine ever joins.
20:44 December 27, 2012 by Tonne
@sonriete you are right, there is no logic; my comment was too loosely written.

Perhaps I should have written that with the enlargement of the EU, the influence of any one country is diminishing and it makes no economic sense to assuage the pride of a single country by maintaining a separation of the Parliament and the Commission. If Brussells is accepted as the political and administrative centre of the EU, then it makes sense that all parts of it, including the European Parliament, should be permanently situated there.

At some time in the future, it may be considered politic to move the Commission and Parliament and their administrative machinery to a more central location. But I think that that is very much in the future.
07:07 December 28, 2012 by raandy
@ smart2012 We obviously read different view points and articles,Iam not on a witch hunt like you

In a fast-moving situation, significant changes have occurred since this article went to press. On August 1, as I write below, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann objected to the assertion by Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, that the ECB will ¦quot;do whatever it takes to preserve the euro as a stable currency.¦quot; Weidmann emphasized the statutory limitation on the powers of the ECB. Since this article was published, however, it has become clear that Chancellor Merkel has sided with Draghi, leaving Weidmann isolated on the board of the ECB.
Today's headlines
Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd