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Bundesbank tells France: 'hands off!'

The Local · 12 May 2012, 11:18

Published: 12 May 2012 11:18 GMT+02:00

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He also reminded Greece that it would have to respect its commitments or

risk having its bailout aid suspended, in an interview with the daily

Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"Any modification in the statutes (of the European Central Bank) would be

dangerous," Weidman said when asked about Hollande's proposal during his electoral campaign to allow the ECB to take measures to support the economy or lend directly to states.

"Jobs and economic growth are the result of trade. The central bank is best

placed to contribute to the stability of the (European) currency," he said.

With regard to Hollande's campaign pledge to renegotiate the European fiscal pact, he said "it is clear that must be refused."

"There is a European custom that you keep to accords you have signed," he said.

His comments come ahead of Hollande's visit to Berlin next week, when he is due to have talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday evening.

Hollande said in his campaign that he would advocate measures to kickstart Europe's sluggish economies.

Weidmann said: "I know the new buzzword is 'growth'... all experience has

shown that too much debt is a handicap to growth. To combat debt with more

debt just will not work."

Story continues below…

On inflation, he stood firm. "It is a dangerous path, we must not repeat the errors of the 1970s. Inflation is socially unfair and will not get us out of the crisis."

With regard to Greece, he said there was "no German economic diktat. But if

Athens doesn't keep its word, it will be a democratic choice. The consequence

will be that the basis for fresh aid will disappear."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:39 May 12, 2012 by joetke
Germans do have problem with the meaning of their authentically German word:DIKTAT! It's not up to you to persuade France or Greece, that you do not intend to IMPRESS them. Our PERCEPTION Is clear: ONCE AGAIN, noch einmal, because you ARE ANGUISHED how all that mess could turn out, YOU DO IMPOSE your under-fear point of view to INDEPENDENT NATIONS, at least, historically the equivalent of your own nation!

WE DON'T WANT any German's DIKTAT any more!

Let refresh your memories HANS UND GRETA. Not that far, at the end of the WWII, your economy WAS LESS THAN THE TENTH (1/50) of 1992 Kenya's! As any European countries which DESPERATELY DID NEED American Marshall Plan $BILLIONS, your broken Germania was not that PROUD! NOT AT ALL!

Be HUMBLE if the word ever exists in your language! BE HUMBLE!

It's your FAULT, the FAULT of merkozy if BAD DECISIONS have been taken regarding Greece's financial crisis!

NOW YOU WANT US to pay for YOUR INCOMPETENCES, now that your DWARD KG Krieg Gefangener sarkozy had been OUSTED. Who do you think YOU ARE? Who do you think WE ARE?
13:57 May 12, 2012 by narfmaster
@joeke - That is a very interesting comment. So...what you are saying is that if I need a bunch of money to pay my bills, get that money from the bank and say, "I'll pay you back soon." and then don't have the money to pay for it, I can just say, "I don't accept your DIKTAT! I'm not paying!" That's awesome!

By the way, can you loan me a couple hundred thousand? I'm good for it, really.
14:18 May 12, 2012 by Sayer
Mr. Weidmann, you display that wonderfully stereotypical German characteristic: mental inflexibility. The existing policy obvious doesn't work. You're lost, but making great time. Wouldn't NOW be the time to reassess the situation, and find a better way? Or is being firm more important than being right? Or finding a solution?
15:21 May 12, 2012 by Eastard
Folks... Germany is not the one one the edge of cultural collapse... so why is the all about what Germany is doing wrong... It would not make any difference if it was all their fault... Greece as a sovern country is at all time totally responsible for its own operation... and either borrowing money or not.... JUST AS THEY WERE FOR SPENDING IT OR NOT... The disconnect remain much south of Germany... I find it remarkable that all arguements come back to WWII which was 60 years ago... Folks.. get over it and move to to today. All countries had dark times in their past... all countries... Germany does not HAVE TO lend anyone one euro. They have a vision of Europe and it may be right and it may be wrong...

If I owed Greece money I would not be paying it back with their talk and attitude.. Again, be careful because the pedator nations (China & Russia) are eyeing this who situation with lust.. Greece would be easy pickings.
16:36 May 12, 2012 by Bushdiver
I don't see why the Germans don't just admit that the Euro is not working and be done with it. If everyone was to go back to their own currency this mess would go away fairly quickly. It will force each country to live within it's means and Germany economy will still be strong even if they were to go back to the D-Mark. I realize that the Germans have been spear heading this push to save the Euro by giving billions of Euro's away since most of the loans will probably never be repayed. The poorer countries could never have been expected to keep up with the richer countries. The Euro hasn't helped anyone except big business and banks. I personally don't see any benefit at all to the single currency other than I don't have to exchange money when travelling to other countries. The Germans will have to find another way of conquering Europe.
19:17 May 12, 2012 by TheCrownPrince
Weidmann is absolutely right. Hands off from the ECB and the fiscal pact! The PIIGS are only halfway through their necessary structural reforms and will stop them immediately if the screws are loosened now. Doing away with superflous expenditures is the motto! No more spending! Spending is the cause of this mess in the first place. Thank God without Germany's backing this whole house of cards would come down immediately, so Merkel is holding all the aces, and Hollande knows that; so there will be some "cosmetic" adjustments to appease him, but the main course will not be changed until the PIIGS are reasonably competitive again. Let Krugman rant and rave in the NYT as long he wants: the course will not be changed!
19:41 May 12, 2012 by Englishted
Just go and read the Local's article in the business and money section it is called

"Finance Minister O.K.s three percent inflation "

Just a bunch of hypocritical bullies forcing down unworkable ideas on countries that are smaller but breaking the rules of the Eurozone themselves.

Please read it in the light of the above report.
20:16 May 12, 2012 by Deutschguy
Had Greece not lied about its financial situation and Goldman Sachs had done due diligence before issuing Greek debt, this would not be happening. The EU made a huge mistake by assuming that all governments would be honest; by not verifying for themselves the financial facts; and, by overemphasizing the importance of national sovereignty regarding independent investigation, audits, and certifying results.

Once capital crosses borders, national sovereignty is out the window. That's what is somewhat humorous about Brits these days, pretending that they still have regional and national decision making power, when it's all determined by The City.

Greece's government has not represented the interests of the Greek people for a long time. They took funds intended for upgrading infrastructure and modernization of government processes (like the tax collection system) and paid themselves, hired friends and family, and allowed unwarranted payments to a variety of interest groups and citizens. To anyone who has lived in New Jersey or Louisiana, this scenario should sound familiar.
05:31 May 13, 2012 by patmanlou
It's all well stated above.... but we all miss the wider and finer point. What we have to understand is that this whole thing (so called disaster) is man made, and can be fixed by man.

The powers that be in Europe should ask themselves: What is money? What is so special about a piece of paper with printed ink? To solve EUrope problem, a new definition of money maybe needed. I"LL SAY GET RID OF MONEY IN GENERAL. IT IS THE SOURCE OF MUCH OF HUMAN MISERY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. A MEANS BY WHICH A FEW POWER MEN AND COUNTRY CONTROL, AND DICTATE TO OTHER HOW TO LIVE THEIR LIVES.

Mankind needs to find a better fairer way to conduction his everyday needs, a better way to encourage human creativity.
08:48 May 13, 2012 by _JD
In the midst of the incredible suffering in Greece, it strikes me that Weidmann and Merkel, by continuing with this message and tone, are planting the seeds for another war.

The world was promised that a re-unified Germany would pursue it's ambitions subordinate to the framework of European solidarity. I think it's fair to say that Germany is now breaking that promise.

Weidman calls the actions of Greece a "democratic decision," the same must be said of the Germans' decisions, and they must also be understood to be responsible for the damage done in breaking those promises, and the very serious consequences. If this is, as it seems, the return of German nationalism, then one can't help but think that it will be short-lived, one way or the other - no one will long tolerate the continued subordination of European policy to German interests. So in fact the current position of Merkel et al is extremely short sighted and imperils the prosperity of Germany..

Eurobonds or disaster?! Seems like it. What would Eurobonds cost Germany - 100 Billion a year? Seems cheap by comparison.
00:09 May 14, 2012 by quiller
If the politicians, the ECB and the EU elite had done their job in the first place, the fertiliser that is flying around at the moment would not exist. The hype and the Hollywood showmanship at the launch of the Euro should be compulsory viewing for the above mentioned groups until they are sick of it. Managers in any company who screwed up to this extent would have been replaced long ago. All they can come up with is with austerity, austerity, austerity. Any fool with limited thinking can repeat a mantra ad nauseam. Ms Merkel will be dumped by her voters sooner or later like the other politicians and governments. Her legacy will be what?
02:12 May 15, 2012 by mike_1983
if anyone here has spent time in greece and knows greeks (i have greek relatives) they'll know it's their own fault! most of them get paid for work they dont do and then to top it off dont pay the tax on money they didnt even deserve to earn!

its totally ridiculous and unsustainable... so i dont understand all this hate directed at germany on this discussion board!

some people need to pull themselves out of this far left thinking and see that the primary cause of this crisis is DEBT, adding more debt to eleviate current problems will just make things worse down the track! its not rocket science people!

that said i think greece must leave the euro!
21:04 May 18, 2012 by John Steed
The European Union is the framework within which the current crisis is contained. There would be a war now were it not for those institutions. However, Germany has not yet grasped that other countries have paid, heavily,for its reintegration, which incidentally, the Germans have not paid for, and should perhaps be a little less dumb in assuming that the rest of the World has not noticed. Merkel's austerity concept is a short sighted ex-marxist solution to a different problem than the one with which she is faced. She is providing an ex-soviet solution Putin must be laughing his head off, all he hasd to do was let his ex-apparatchiks, normally boy scouts into EU institutions and add an East German Hausfrau. who needs warfare?
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