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No let-up in coalition infighting over euro

The Local · 17 Sep 2011, 12:37

Published: 17 Sep 2011 12:37 GMT+02:00

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The rift between Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and its junior coalition partner appears to be deepening as the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) over the weekend defend controversial comments made last week by FDP leader Philipp Rösler about a possible "orderly default" of highly indebted Greece.

The comments released a storm of infighting, rattled already jittery markets, and moved Merkel to call for leaders to weigh their public statements carefully regarding the euro and Greece.

On Saturday, FDP General-Secretary Christian Lindner defended his party's stance, telling the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper that that the result would be political frustration if "earning the confidence of the markets became more important than earning the trust of the citizens."

Lindner also hit back against statements made by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble indirectly calling on the FDP to stay out of the euro matter.

In an interview with the Bild am Sonntag weekly, Schäuble, a member of Merkel's CDU, said that "in a democracy, there is freedom of speech. But within the federal government, the finance minister is responsible for finance policy."

The FDP has had a disastrous year politically, and observers say its new stance toward the euro and opposition to Merkel's stated policy is an attempt to garner votes from Germans who are wary of additional Greek bailouts. Berlin is holding local elections on Sunday, and the FDP is in danger of not making into the state government.

"The FDP is the only party delivering straight talk about the euro," said Berlin's top FDP candidate Christoph Meyer. "That's why we are making the Berlin election a euro election. That's been agreed on with our national party leaders, who support Philipp Rösler's position 100 percent."

But that stance is ruffling feathers in the CDU and there has been media speculation about the very future of the governing coalition if tensions escalate.

The premier of Thuringia slammed the FDP euro strategy as an attempt to stay afloat politically and risking the stability of the common currency.

Story continues below…

"Is the FPD that much further away from bankruptcy than Greece?" she said.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/kdj

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:36 September 17, 2011 by ChuChu
Go for it FDP..I know it is only to attract more votes, but it is about time someone ruffles their feathers. I cannot understand that Germany and France ride ruffshot over all the other EU countries, don't they count for anything? I am German and VERY proud to be..but realy!!!! is that fair? What are we then doing in the EU? we can instead make our own rules and basta with everybody els (which I think is right in the 1st place) How did you guess? I'm anti-united Europe and Euro? OOOHHH YES!
20:46 September 17, 2011 by nemo999
"The FDP is the only party delivering straight talk about the Euro". My what a statement to come out of a politicians mouth. Because we all know that politicians are all about straight talk, how they never bend the truth, how they are always straight and forth right in all of their statements on any and all issues. What dribble
21:12 September 17, 2011 by NeilH1
I'm not European so I don't really know about these things.

But from this American's point of view, it looks like Germany, through its solid business practices, hard work and resulting wonderful economic success story, is being made to pay the bill for the poorest and most badly run European countries which expect all the best things in life without working very hard for them.

Am I missing something?
22:48 September 17, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ NeilH1

Yes, you're missing why the Left will not admit to themselves the scope of the debt; They are the ones creating the debt, and receiving the Govt. handouts being put in jeopardy by the debt)

Sheding any sort of light on the subject is readily brushed off as politicians incapable of 'straight talk'. Isn't that usually the case with Lefties. Everything that doesn't mesh with their philosophy of a Neo-Communist One World Govt. society is labeled something like 'extreme' 'crazy 'rabid' etc.
03:15 September 18, 2011 by catjones
NeilH1...that's partially true. Don't forget to add on the Marshall Plan and American investments in DL as a bulwark against soviet Russia. Sorry, but hard work and business practices alone do not a success make.
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