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Merkel ally: I'll destroy government over EU

The Local · 3 Jul 2012, 17:08

Published: 03 Jul 2012 17:08 GMT+02:00

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“At some time we reach the point where the Bavarian state government and also the CSU can no longer say yes. I could personally also no longer support it,” said Horst Seehofer, state premier of Bavaria. He is also leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

“And the coalition has no majority without the votes of the CSU,” he added in an interview with Stern news magazine.

And although Seehofer was robust in his criticism of her handling of the crisis, Merkel said there was no problem between them on the matter. Speaking in Berlin on Tuesday she said the whole coalition stood closely together.

Her other coalition partner, the business-friendly Free Democratic Party jumped to her defence. FDP Secretary General Patrick Döring said, “You do not question the course and leadership when in heavy seas.”

Merkel accepted short-term help for Spain and Italy at last Friday’s euro summit. The permanent rescue fund ESM will be allowed to help banks directly. This bypassed national economies which would thus not be subjected to tough austerity measures. Spanish banks are thought to need €62 billion in order to cover their losses. She also backed down to allow the ESM fund to buy up bonds of countries in crisis.

These kinds of measures – and the large part played by Germany in filling the ESM with money – are already putting Germany, “on the edge,” said Seehofer.

He said his major concern was that Germany could become the target of financial market speculators.

“My greatest fear is that the financial markets ask, ‘Can Germany take it all?’ That is the point that I consider to be the most dangerous of all.”

The magazine said Germany would lose its triple-A credit rating if the eurozone were to collapse – because the country has guaranteed €310 billion worth of loads to other states. This sum makes the €12 billion or so lost as a result of the Greek write-down look small, it said.

Experts say Germany would lose at least a trillion euros if everything went wrong and Spain and Italy were not rescued, the magazine said.

Seehofer said the man on the street would have difficulty understanding – and accepting – what was being undertaken.

“Parliament is debating the stability pact. And at exactly the same time government leaders of some euro countries are working to soften exactly those stability criteria. Which citizen should understand that?” he asked.

The aim must be to break through what he called the “debt mentality” of some countries.

“It is deeply human that others want our money without undertaking much themselves. But it is no solution to the problem,” he said.

Seehofer also put down a marker regarding the German constitution which Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said could be altered to enable some sovereign powers to be transferred to European bodies.

“Hands off the constitution!” said Seehofer.

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“We can thank this constitution for the most stable nation under the rule of law and the most stable democracy that there has ever been in German history. We do not want any other constitution,” he said.

The idea of giving the institutions of what he called a “European monster state” wide-ranging powers, did not come into question, he said, saying he would make the issue the focus of next year’s general and Bavarian state elections.

“We will put this question to the people,” he said.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:19 July 3, 2012 by PNWDev
The Tea Party vs. the Republicans - German style.
22:33 July 3, 2012 by KlaatuWithGort
Thang God someone is talking sense. The euro CANNOT work the way it is set up and NOT ONE SINGLE EUROPEAN CITIZEN HAS VOTED FOR A EUROPEAN SUPERSTATE.

Not ONE. The hysterical zealotry of van Rompuy, Borroso et al is totally UNMANDATED ad indeed quasi-fascist. We do NOT want a United States of Europe. It is NOT necessary and cannot be achieved without extreme misery.

All this is based on LIES and SELF-DENIAL.
22:40 July 3, 2012 by Jerr-Berlin
"experts say"...who are the "experts"? for the non-business educated audience that read The Local...the Euro has indeed helped Germany regarding exports...and as we al know, Germany and justifiably so...is a major exporter and relies heavily, on it's ability to export...it's economy, social structure etc...depend on exports....

...having said this, Germany would also be fine, going back to the D- Mark...the country would lose revenue initially, but in the long term...Germany would do just fine...so would the other countries...it's just that the "cost of doing business" would be higher without the Euro...
09:14 July 4, 2012 by BR549
I agree with all the comments made so far. I think the EU is over stepping the boundaries and yes, eventually European Nations will become European States.

In my humble opinion, I wish the EU would just go away....

The German working class "bear enough crosses" and taking on the burden of saving other countries with a LONG HISTORY of financial problems (Italy, Spain and Ireland) will eventually break the middle class.

With a very, very long history of European countries being unable to get along as neighbors, I really can't see the EU even having a marginal chance of succeeding in the long term. Toss in the towel and walk from this idea.
10:05 July 4, 2012 by smart2012
guys, last week I said that the great achievement from Friday (to save Europe) will calm the markets until someone from a country will start to make silly comments.. And here they are. So easy to predict those bunch of...
11:00 July 4, 2012 by michael4096
"With a very, very long history of European countries being unable to get along as neighbors, I really can't see the EU even having a marginal chance of succeeding in the long term."

You mean like the way the yankees and confederates could never create one country?

Of course, Europe can turn the economic clock back 100yrs and survive ok. However, it would never be able to compete on the world stage.
11:55 July 4, 2012 by Floriansamsel
As usual: nothing but great words from Mr. Seehofer.
12:03 July 4, 2012 by jg.
"... it would never be able to compete on the world stage."

This is one of the biggest fallacies of pro-EU propaganda. Germany has and continues to "compete on the world stage", without any help from the EU. Other smaller nations also do very well (Singapore and South Korea spring to mind). When it comes to exports, being big is not necessarily an advantage. When it comes to imports, overcoming hurdles (languages, standards, local regulations) to reach larger markets like the EU and the USA is worthwhile to other exporters, whereas the same is not always true for smaller markets (like Japan).
14:59 July 4, 2012 by William Thirteen
Seehofer is a mole for the CIA...
15:41 July 4, 2012 by BR549
@ William Thirteen

Shhhhh... You'll break his cover!
17:59 July 4, 2012 by michael4096
"..being big is not necessarily an advantage..."

That it's about size is one of the biggest fallacies of anti-EU propaganda. It's about efficiency and stability. Of course, any country can become a bit-part player on the world stage by cornering a niche market. The French would be the world's biggest cheese exporter with or without the EU. However, the EU actually encourages niche players by providing an umbrella, an on-the-doorstep market and a level playing field. Granted, it's still rather new and got teething problems but it allows the small to flourish where they couldn't before - ask the Latvians, the Irish or even the Scots.
07:35 July 5, 2012 by insight101

The Yankees and Confederates were members of the same nation, and they do not have a very, very long history of not being able to get along, which is what the comment about Europe was. Those might be a couple of key differences.
12:24 July 5, 2012 by AlexR
"Germany is not bailing out Europe, it is rescuing itself"

"The ECB and eurozone governments, as well as bailing out other members states, have quietly been rescuing German banks and, by extension, German savers. Without these emergency operations, the eurozone would have broken up, German banks would have gone bust and the savings of many ordinary Germans might have been wiped out. More likely the German taxpayer would have had been forced to bail out those banks.

So, as the German people distribute blame for the situation in which they find themselves, they should not ignore their own bankers. If those institutions had not made these investments and financed the current account deficits of Germany's neighbours for so many years, their country would not be on the hook for hundreds of billions of euros of bad debts.

Yet this is something German politicians refuse to acknowledge."

22:45 July 5, 2012 by KlaatuWithGort
The EU as it is set up is based on a LIE. Jeqan Monnet is the hero of the Brussels zealots trying to force us into a political union which is NOT needed and will NOT work. Indeed, the efforts to do this - which is by the way TOTALLY AND UTTERLY UNMANDATED - are pushing Europe apart. The following tells us all we need to know about the quasi-fascist nature of this undertaking:

Jean Monet, the founding father of the European Union, had a very particular vision of Europe¦#39;s future back in 1952, and he expressed it in a letter to a colleague on 30th April that year: ¦quot;Europe¦#39;s nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.¦quot;
10:17 July 6, 2012 by AlexR

If you have that opinion, then I wonder why you congratulate Seehofer of "talking sense". Seehofer is actually a strong supporter of more European integration and he is fully behind Merkel et al on this. May I remind you that Merkel in a series of speeches and statements over the past few months, urges greater fiscal and political union.

"We need more Europe ­ not only a monetary union, but we also need a so-called fiscal union, in other words more joint budget policy. And, most of all, we need a political union, meaning we need to gradually give competencies to Europe and give Europe control." said Dr Merkel.


Except if you believe that the (unelected) van Rompuy, Borroso et al can dictate European policies if they are not backed up by the (elected) European governments of Germany, France et al.

Seehofer doesn't have any problem with the deeper European fiscal and political integration. His only problem is "how citizens should understand" the money transfers from Germany to other states. Of course it is very convenient, or better, populist to say that about the German citizens. German people are not stupid and could understand very well what's going on.

That is, because they are the only citizens in European Union that they had a very recent monetary and political union (between East and West Germany), and can understand perfectly well that a monetary union could only be successful if there are money transfers between its members.

In any other case, a monetary union like the Eurozone one, is destined to collapse as the recent and past history (the Latin and the Scandinavian monetary unions) has shown.
00:19 July 10, 2012 by ceterum censeo
¦quot;At some time we reach the point where the Bavarian state government and also the CSU can no longer say yes,¦quot; said Horst Seehofer, state premier of Bavaria.

IThe day to say No, is today !

There was no euro crisis until Merkel and Sarkozy intervened Greek insolvency to help some German and French mismanaged banks out of their credit liability.

The fundamental principles of the market economy were broken and no one knows how far the socialism will advance. This is the source of speculation and banks around the world want to profit of it taking cheap money of central banks for lending at high interest rates to mismanaged countries, with no risk at all once the credit liability is by political decision taken to the taxpayers.

There is a market based way out since no bankers can execute a sovereign state. It can simply stop paying. Yet it is wise Greece to pay its debt to the last cent with 30-year bonds, which will gradually loose their real value by the inflation. Banks will write they receivables as long term and we will see no major crisis anywhere. With no new debt in sight, Greece must balance its economy and can do it without any major crisis once the old debt is not paid in at least 30 years.

ESM and all related funds shall be dissolved, governments shall each focus on managing and ruling their own countries, EU shall continue as a platform of co-operation between independent member states, in service but not in charge.
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