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.
“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.