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World Bank boss attacks Berlin over euro crisis

The Local · 8 Oct 2011, 11:03

Published: 08 Oct 2011 11:03 GMT+02:00

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Speaking to business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, Zoellick said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government had no vision of how to solve the problems of the 17-member eurozone.

“There has been a lot of political bumbling, but the economy and the markets need direction and clarity,” he said.

Zoellick pointed to the vision shown by former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl as the Iron Curtain fell two decades ago as an example how to turn a crisis into an opportunity.

“That’s completely missing right now, and the longer it takes the more money it will cost and the fewer options there will be,” Zoellick told the magazine.

The World Bank boss said Germany had to take a leading role in solving Europe’s debt crisis.

Story continues below…

“The decisive question is whether the people and governments of Europe want to create a political and financial union in order to complement the currency union,” Zoellick said.

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Your comments about this article

11:23 October 8, 2011 by wenddiver
The World Bank boss said Germany had to take a leading role in solving Europe¦#39;s debt crisis.

He means Germany is not writing checks fast enough to keep up with some of Europe's spending. Velkommen au EU Herr Deutscher.
13:27 October 8, 2011 by raandy
Karl Marx once said, Democracy is the road to Socialism. He was wrong on nearly everything but on this occasion he was right. I would also like to add Socialism leads to ruin. There are more poor people than rich people. Politicians are always trying to get votes by redistributing the wealth from one group to another.This is why Democracies end up with welfare states.So taxation has to go up to fund government expenditures.There is a limit on how much tax working people can take.With higher taxes, you get disincentives to work harder or to take risks. Investors would also prefer to invest elsewhere where taxes are lower. Higher income people also prefer to migrate to lower tax places. Or some will simply cheat on taxes.

I would like to read the plan the EU ministers have for Germany,rather than listen to there whining and finger pointing.
14:52 October 8, 2011 by hanskarl
And Germany is already Socialist politically. The US is not far behind. While everyone in Europe hear of the Wall Street protests and the need for "a fair share" they do not realise that the redistribution policy has been in place for decades. The top 50% of earners in the US pay nearly 97% of all taxes. The top 1% pay close to 35% of all taxes. Back in 1980 they paid only 19%. This is according to IRS data in the US.

One can understand protests for a valid cause. But the latest round of protests in the US has no real cause. It smacks of ulterior motive considering what happened in October 1917. It is interesting that these are being propagated using wildly successful commercial products and social media programs like Twitter and Facebook on Android and iPhone products. And one may find it interesting that perhaps one of the greatest capitalists of our generation, the late Steve Jobs, was a liberal US democrat. Sitting on his board were others such as environmentalist Al Gore. Most Apple products are manufactured in third world and communist economies where environmentalism as being foisted for political purposes in the US and EU is nonexistent.

And Obama supports this. So what is the real purpose and cause of these protests? Check out Rules for Radicals with Saul D. Alinsky and you will get your answer. Mr. Obama is a disciple of this man. Perhaps these little protests are as one commentator in the US puts it, "merely boot camp" for the real protests.
17:38 October 8, 2011 by Englishted
Welcome to the European branch of the Tea Party .

From the comments above.
17:50 October 8, 2011 by hanskarl
LOL!!! Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it......... And how many did Marx and Lenin exterminate? The only difference is the methodology and the time frame.
19:16 October 8, 2011 by Relaxed
It is about time that the decisions and action were taken by economists, rather than politicians, who in Merkels case we have seen sway to meet political ends, eg nuclear power ban following Fukushima.

The World Bank and IMF should withold any further contributions to Europe's lame ducks until the EU accepts that the member states themselves are not competent to solve individual nation's problems and the effect that they have on th eworld economy and markets.

I realistic plan has still not emerged after numerous summits of the leaders, and bi- country leader meetings. Merkel should not be placed in the postion to make such decisions, but the EU should be told how to solve individual states economic problems and the EU should ensure that these actions are implemented. It needs fundamental changes to the structure of the EU, maybe a task for a retired French President?
20:28 October 8, 2011 by lwexcel
"The decisive question is whether the people and governments of Europe want to create a political and financial union in order to complement the currency union,¦quot; Zoellick said." -

I do not think that there is any question about the deciding parties being serious about creating a currency union. The real question (s) would be what is the best way to go by doing that? How much money do they have to give out for all parties to be happy? And why is it the responsibility of the more fiscally well off nations to take care of Greece (when the stipulations handed down as a prerequisite to getting aid seem to be unreachable)?
20:53 October 8, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Well stated, hanskarl !!!
22:59 October 8, 2011 by Flying_Blue
The U.S Fed, World Bank, Bank of England have all been wrong in predicting/handling this credit mess. ECB is teetering between right/wrong. Pretty impressive that Merkel is calm and unwavering in her core belief and action, which to me is the right way for a better EU future (live within your means & if private banks profit from profligate governments and their policies, bear their losses too).This is leadership.
23:31 October 8, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, I do agree with the World Bank, in that EU leaders should step forward and commit to something. Indecision and uncertainty leads to a disruption in the flow of money, which subsequently leads to recessions and depressions.

I agree, it's a tough decision for Merkel and others. But in reality, they only have two choices:

*Send more money to Greece, even though they may not get any of it back.

And continue to support Greece, even if it means that other governments and banks in the EU will eventually go broke too.

*Set up a "Subtle Exit Programme and allow Greece to leave the EU, and then re-establish their own new currency.

God knows, I wish the very best for the Greek people. And if I were a Greek citizen, I would start a movement to restructure the country. Surely this is what Greece needs.
06:04 October 9, 2011 by Bill Simpson
Germany "... take a leading role" means paying, and paying, and paying, and paying, and...
09:05 October 9, 2011 by Englishted

"And how many did Marx and Lenin exterminate?"

Marx ,the exact number to the nearest decimal point is nil .

You must learn history to use it in a comment.
13:41 October 9, 2011 by siba
unbelievable how some people turn around facts like the tea-party-followers raandy and hanskarl. our western societies are actually suffering from a distribution crisis since the working class and the most vulnerable pay the bills for a currupt elite enriching itself from a globalized, rule-free financial system. when there is anything we can learn from the current situation is that we need again more powerful states in which corporations and rich elites don't have the saying. stong welfare states are today those western contries with the least financial problems. so less taxes, better economy - bullshit.
13:57 October 9, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Marx may never have personally killed anybody, but either did Hitler. however, his movement sure did.

siba, you're missing a Fundamental Point. and I am not absolving bankers of all the blame, not at all. But lets call it the way it is.The probems we arte facing today are 2 fold. 1. Debt accumulated. and the end of a Housing Bubble. I believe, as many others do, that the source of 'Housing Bubble' and its subsequent collapse is the fault of Bad Governent policy in the form of approving loans to people with questionable ability to pay them back. Toxic Mortgages worth trillions of dollars, is why we are here. Along with Govt. debt, and unsustainable social policy and entitlements.

More taxes are not going to solve that. Don't be brainwashed, Its Bullshit, alright. But you're just playng into the Govt.s hands now, aren't you?

The US Congress created the policy that put us into this debt. they are the ones who then bailed out the banks. Now you want more Govt. control. What is to stop the Gov.t from doing it again, so that you would support Even More Govt. control. Sheep.
16:21 October 9, 2011 by siba
having a strong welfare state has nothing to do with socialism or karl marx. there is no country in the world anymore with a socialist government. what we have in northern europe incl. germany is a social market democracy which is the most successful model as we see today. it combines competition and social security. with this system losing a job or getting sick does not mean that you get excluded from society and that you even get more vulnerable as you don't get the means to move up again...

for sure, the current "financial crisis" is complex and it needs more than a few words to be explained. Politicians were blind and trusted to much the bubbles, the banks, the cororations, the rich elites (which all have their lobbyists in the government). moreover, politicians are not detached from society, they are part of it and their abilty to influence the economy is reduced to a minimung today. it is frustrating how the US government has no chance - giving the power relations and the current public discourse in the US - to serve the public good by e.g. implementing a public and efficient health care system which does not make a sickness a risk factor for homelessness.

you are delusional if you don't see that the financial problems in the US are a direct cause of a lack of regulation of the financial system by the state. but paradoxically Obama has no chance to fix anything because some fuels still pray "less rules, less taxes"... and block any other way.

fortunately in Germany the public discourse is different and political partys which solely worship the free market (like the FDP) have no relevance anymore. And about Occupy Wallstreet: We might see the rise of a popular movement that, unlike the Tea Party, is angry at the right people. This movement gives me some hope that the US will move upwards again soon.
19:24 October 9, 2011 by Englishted

Marx also never formed a "movement", he wrote a book which can still be read in most free countries.

Hitler was a soldier in the trenches for most of ww1 obtaining promotion and a medal ,so it is possible even likely that he personally did kill ,if he did on purpose

or not I cannot say.
21:04 October 9, 2011 by lwexcel

The US Congress created the policy that put us into this debt. they are the ones who then bailed out the banks. -

Yes the U.S. Congress had to bail out banks, but this was more to prevent a panic situation and restore a sense of calm to our fiscal system. The likelihood of having runs on banks went way down after TARP was introduced.

Next giving most of the blame to government is simply looking at this situation in the wrong way. The government wanting people to own houses was not the problem, the end of 'utility banking' was. Banks did not see it as their duty to accurately monitor or asses their risk being that they could just wrap their mortgages up with others and sell them to pension funds, and other investors.
07:09 October 10, 2011 by shahislam
The problem is in the Oil business and imbalanced worlg trade. Removal of Few guys will solve the issue:For a better peaceful world, a fair and totally honest declaration of Amnesty will do the magic right now in regard to Assad, then many Sheikhs in a positive chain reaction.

The source of the knowledge is so genuine, clear and strong that no one will believe it to be true now and I shall not devulge to anyone!

Just watch how things unfold in an unprecedented way, one by one before the now digitally interconnected World. The days of old style politics are now history! The moment any of the heads of powers starts just one killing of own or foreign Country Citizens to remain in power, a crime against Humanity gets committed and such crime approving Head, just like a ordinary Citizen: Criminal, now have to face True Justice backed by the new Global Public.

Simultaneously, in pace with the natural or cosmic weakening of all the old political platforms in disguise of religions, the old autocratic days of Emirs, Sheikhs, Kings etc. are not too far from ending.

The land piece of Syria will be "King-Free' soon and many other lands such as Nepal, Thailand, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi, Oman etc. will be among the next ones.

The evidences (noted and automatically saved by electronic Medias, therefore, by the collective Public minds on a ongoing basis) of extremely negative cruel acts or in other words, crimes against Humanity are now not destroy-able anymore.

Brutalities like the following fact in Arab-lands, for example, now, will have great negative impacts on the future generation of declining pilgrimages in all parts of the World.

Demand of the time: Smart non-violent politics.

The Greatness of the West: 1 Pre-meditated murderer of 80 lives still alive in the West and 8 needy thieves, earning not enough as foreign workers in a richest Country to became accidental killers and die in unimaginable brutal ways in the East.

Recently, one Norwegian killer in a pre-planned way killed 80 and probably won't receive even suspended death penalty in the World Class generous atmosphere of the Western Justice System and in Super rich: Saudi Arabia, 8 poor foreign workers from Bangladesh (with insufficient wages (e.g. US$ 5 to $10 a day for 12 hours of hard laboring job) have been murdered openly by autocratic order of a non-benevolent king in this modern, globally awakened time: in a primitive, brutal, barbarian style as a punishment for accidental killing of one!

If, it is not for sharing profiteering fortune of artificially raised oil-price money, then, non-violent removal of only a few guys in business of politics of the West ....the removals of the 'Out of date': opportunist guys' or king's businesses of terrorism for it's own comfort to remain in the power vacuum, historically unnoticed by the majority of the then old-world and not ever claimed by wise guys like evolved most intelligent men of this 21st Century Generation.
14:54 October 10, 2011 by LecteurX
@ derExDeutsche #14 "Marx may never have personally killed anybody, but either did Hitler. however, his movement sure did."

Interesting... as already pointed out by Englishted, but let's put it more bluntly: please name the country that Marx took over and governed for 12 years? Did he create a Reich somewhere? Did he even create a political party? Did he attend some sort of "Red Wannsee Conferences" with Stalin or Pol Pot to plan with them the extermination of millions of people? I think not. He was just sitting in a dark corner of Cologne, then London, writing books about the social conditions of the time, the time when kids worked in mines, workers spent well above 12 times a day in the factories for a pittance, etc. Not many people paid attention to his writings during his lifetime. So please spare us the ridiculous comparison with Hitler's "movement". Plus you score a Godwin point. All power to you!

@ Hanskarl #3. "The top 1% pay close to 35% of all taxes. Back in 1980 they paid only 19%."

Oh, poor dear things. You almost got me to cry over my coffee with this. But you, erm, forgot to mention that the top 1% in the US also control an estimated 40-50% of wealth in the US. Maybe just an oversight of yours? They paid "only" of taxes 19% back in 1980? Well maybe it was because back then the income distribution was less glaringly unequal. Just a suggestion... Did Warren Buffett lie when he loudly declared a few weeks ago that he pays less taxes than his employees in percentage of his income? Yeah, just cut the taxes for the rich, all the "trickling down" will eventually happen. Just look at all the "trickling down" that took place in the Victorian era. And please leave history out of it. Based on your question regarding Marx, we can safely assume your knowledge of it is close to zero.
07:48 October 11, 2011 by wenddiver
@LecturX- You forget Marx's major achievment, he starved his wn children to death and created the philosophy of the worst countries to live in world wide.

His work speaks for itself: North Korea, Zimbabwe, hell just about any country in Africa were AK armed thugs murder people, Cambodia (thats a country you have to visit, the giant piles of human skulls from Pol Pots killing fields are really memorable, the Soviet Union (number two in murdering it's own people), the People's Republic of China (number one in murdering it's own people!), Cuba (what can you say about a country so nice their people are willing to lash milk juggs together to escape acrooss the oocean, Venezuela, East Grmany, communist Poland, etc., etc.

The greatest slave states of the 2oth century.
09:46 October 11, 2011 by shahislam
New policies needed to validate phone and e-mail hacking by the Government in a no secret manner, then only bad guys, whether be a citizen or its leader; a member of the public or a public servants have to worry and become good.

Nothing will ever be perfect but 'Perfection' is in the acts of balancing (50%'s of opposing forces) and that's how everything about our humanly existence is programmed.

To be honest, I assume, Obama will exactly understand what I am trying to say because he surely knows that dishonesty always to be remained in the fabric of politics and the norm was up until now: there won't be enough honest supporters behind a honest leader, therefore, negatively powerful dishonest leader-ships will prevail.

A mistakenly believed word: "Unbold" may have the cosmic-power to modify the vulnerable by default: 'belief-system inside each human brain', therefore, change the world (Each human, actually can see and feel own existence individually and the "Wealth and power greedy thugs have always been manipulating this secret and abused it and so far got away unchallenged after recklessly doing whatever whimsical evil things they had on their dumb or blind belief system") in a peaceful and non-violent way.

(Ridiculously, I won't talk about universal topics now.) But I feel a strong desire in me to say: 'Now, there is a short lasting opportunity to change the future course of global politics that is to be history of American recent Glory by as early as 2017'.

I just know that it won't be a lucky thing should we miss this chance and let the 'disguised new generation of old thugs' take control of world's trades and economy from as far as Dubai, India, China etc.!
10:48 October 11, 2011 by LecteurX
@ Wenddiver - Yeah, wow, thanks for the reminder, it was not needed. I was answering a specific question and rebutting a specific lie from someone above. I know that there were quite a few murderous countries that applied Marxism thanks. This is completely off topic. "Marx starved his own children to death"... yeah right. Like Irish parents starved their children to death in the 1840s maybe...

"Zimbabwe"... Since when has Zimbabwe been a Marxist country? Just about when? Have you read decent papers once in your lifetime? The Local doesn't count. There have been enough murderous Communist countries throughout history, so you don't need to lie and add others who have never been. "hell just about any country in Africa were AK armed thugs murder people" - how dishonest.

"Cuba"... well, sure, 50 years of US embargo certainly have nothing to do with that, right. Heck, the US even implemented a policy of punish non-US companies for investing in or trading with Cuba for (check out "Helms-Burton Act", if you care to read something sensible once in your lifetime).

Interestingly, there are also millions of Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, etc, risking their lives across a desert to enter the US. They're not fleeing Marxism, these ones, are they? So don't you think it has more to do with fleeing poverty and desperation? Where is all the happiness and prosperity that decades of US-led banana-capitalism in Central America should have delivered?

"Venezuela"... Probably a f*cked up country, I agree, but certainly no less than a few others in the region, and certainly much less murderous than Pinochet's Chile. But well, that's inconvenient to you I guess.

At the end of the day, all these murders have as little to do with Marx as the murderous frenzy of the French Revolution has to do with the Enlightenment of Voltaire and Montesquieu.
15:20 October 11, 2011 by hanskarl
@ LecteurX, Your response is the epitome of what is being exposed.

OK, Stalin and Lenin. My mistake? Perhaps not. These who embraced the writings of Marx engineered the slaughter of how many? Nice that instead of correcting one with understanding instead you lash out and attack to legitimize your failed position. You attempt to intimidate, minimize and marginalise anyone who does not agree with your position. Typical.................


"The Revolutionary force today has two targets, moral as well as material. Its young protagonists are one moment reminiscent of the idealistic early Christians, yet they also urge violence and cry, 'Burn the system down!' They have no illusions about the system, but plenty of illusions about the way to change our world. It is to this point that I have written this book."

1. The Purpose

In this book we are concerned with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people; to realize the democratic dream of equality, justice, peace.... "Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.' This means revolution." p.3

"Radicals must be resilient, adaptable to shifting political circumstances, and sensitive enough to the process of action and reaction to avoid being trapped by their own tactics and forced to travel a road not of their choosing." p.6

"A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism." p.10
18:37 October 11, 2011 by LecteurX
@ Hanskarl - this is quite tiresome. What exactly is "typical"? What I see is another shameless right-wing fanatic who cannot even bother to get his figures right, and as his fallacies are exposed, whines about "intimidation". Where exactly did I attack you when I was completing your half-truth about the top 1%? I'm NOT a Marxist, I just want people to debate with FACTS, stated honestly in their entirety, not just one convenient half of them ("The top 1% pay close to 35% of all taxes") and sweeping the more inconvenient half under the carpet ("but they also control 40-50% of wealth"). I was doing just this. Is that an attack? Do you feel "intimidated" by the truth? Well then stay out of debate, or state facts, not lies.

"These who embraced the writings of Marx engineered the slaughter of how many?" - Funny, your initial question was "how many did Marx and Lenin did exterminate". You could simply admit that you messed up. But no, even that you can't do. As I wrote in another thread: Making Marx directly responsible for the actions of political leaders who lived 50-100 years after him in far-flung places is cheap and lazy. See, lots of Bible-toting people have committed untold atrocities over the last 2 millennia. They were "inspired" by Jesus by doing so, or so they claimed... They decimated "Heretics" (often defined in flimsy terms, quite as shifting and inaccurate as your arguments are), went on Crusades, created the Inquisition, and made the world a terrible place. Does that make Jesus, or Saint Paul, and all the authors of the Bible, a gang of murderers? That's just how your excuse for a "reasoning" works. You asked a very specific question accusing Marx of extermination, you got a very clear answer proving you totally wrong, so just admit you were wrong and shut up. Writing books is not tantamount to murdering people.

In my comment just above yours (#22), I write the following: "I know that there were quite a few murderous countries that applied Marxism thanks". It's NOT a problem for me to say so because I am not a Marxist or remotely Communist. I'm just for intellectual honesty.

So finally, you quote something out of the book. So it's about violence. And?

Marx lived in a violent and extremely unfair society, where kids worked in mines, their parents toiled 16 hours a day at factories yet were starving and had no right to vote (so, no say regarding politics), would lose their jobs if joining a union and would risk being shot if going on strike. In a world where the poor were so disenfranchised and trodden upon, how could you imagine for them to significantly improve their condition if not by some struggle? By dreaming it into being? Luckily, the political and business elites gradually understood they could not have it this way for ever, otherwise they would have gone the same way as the French nobility had done in the 1790s. And this is how social democracy slowly emerged, as a way to avoid class warfare.
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