Schröder offers plan to save Europe
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has called for radical moves to be made to save Europe from its growing financial crisis in what he calls his “Agenda 2012.”
In a commentary in Monday’s Financial Times Deutschland newspaper, Schröder called for a “smart debt cut” to reduce Greece’s debts by roughly 50 percent and allow it to stand on its own.
“This part of debt relief should be designed so that neither the banking sector is damaged, nor that there is a chain reaction in other European countries,” he wrote, saying this would be possible within the current framework proposals to recapitalise banks.
He also said that the solutions to current crises lay in deeper European integration, because individual states were not able to compete globally - not even Germany, Europe’s strongest economic power.
Schröder also called for the appointment of a European commissioner to be responsible for managing affairs within the eurozone as well as leading meetings of the Euro Group, the meeting of finance ministers which plans the direction of the currency.
Schröder’s remarks come as Europeans debate the future of their common currency as well as how the European Union should look.
The continent’s deep economic problems have been exposed by the case Greece, which is suffering under the burden of crushing debt.
Other countries have been grumbling, but are so far helping to prop up Greece’s struggling economy – two weeks ago the German Bundestag voted to expand the size of the continent’s rescue fund in order to more effectively attack the economic problems in countries like Greece and Spain.
And this weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to “do what is necessary to recapitalise banks,” but without announcing concrete details.