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Foreign Minister: play nice over euro crisis

The Local · 31 Jul 2012, 15:04

Published: 31 Jul 2012 15:04 GMT+02:00

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Westerwelle responded in a written statement to what he called, "the verbal escalation in the current European debate."

He said that combative rhetoric would only serve to drive wedges between members of the 17-nation euro area. "No one can have an interest in the fronts hardening," he said.

German officials had a prickly reaction to tart comments by Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker in two recent newspaper interviews in which he criticised Berlin's management of the crisis as the eurozone's biggest member.

Tensions within the eurozone over viable solutions to the crisis have threatened to boil over as the debt turmoil takes its toll on stricken countries including Greece and Spain.

Juncker, who is also Luxembourg’s prime minister, accused Germany of, “constantly conducting domestic politics with euro-questions” and treating the eurozone "like a subsidiary.”

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn also piled on pressure, telling Tuesday’s Die Welt newspaper that it would be extremely dangerous should Germany even think about leaving the euro itself.

“Germany was always strong when it was European,” he said. “I don’t want a Germany that one is afraid of, that one fears could isolate itself,” he said.

Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, called Juncker's criticism "superfluous" and said that it "certainly won't calm the markets".

Another CSU official, Alexander Dobrindt, said that after the "impudence" of "twisting the facts and intimating that Germany is part of the problem," he questioned whether Juncker could remain head of the eurozone finance ministers.

Story continues below…

Westerwelle’s statement said, "Stabilising our currency and coping with the debt crisis are a shared task and everyone must pull together to find a solution. Under no circumstances must the axe of the hasty word be deployed to chop down what was built up over the course of decades in Europe."

AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:20 July 31, 2012 by smart2012
Juncker is 10000000000% right. German government (Merkel) is at the moment the problem of Europe... (and of the world). German government is focusing on winning the election rather than saving german and European economy... as i said sometimes ago, ig Merkel keeps acting in this way, Europe will die and we will be close to a WWIII
16:41 July 31, 2012 by steel jaws
Since they lost WW2, the Germans have to take the blame for everything which goes wrong, whether it is just or not. Perhaps they should give up the Euro and leave the others to clear up their own mess.
17:23 July 31, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
With taxes, health insurance, and employment/retirement conditions being completely different in each member state, the common currency had no real chance from the beginning.

The first mistake made by the German government, was when it joined the Euro zone against the majority will of the electorate.

The second, was to help force the expansion of the zone, by agreeing to the membership of countries which had long since proved to be financially unstable.

The third was to agree that German taxpayers money be poured into foreign countries without a guarantee of repayment.

The country is now itself in debt, but is helping others at the cost of coming generations, by giving away huge sums of cash which are currently in no way physically existent.

The best thing Germany could do would be a return to the DM.

Those who have made this mess should be helped, but the help should be of a similar type to that which Germany itself received after WW2. That would be the possibility to pay off the huge debts through hard work and the effective production of first class goods.
17:33 July 31, 2012 by smart2012
I will repeat again. The country that has the most benefited from Euro is GERMANY. The fast recovery from the East German unification is thanks to Euro and European partners... If Germany leaves Euro now, the one to suffer the most will be GERMANY due to reduction of export (Germany cannot survice on internal demand as Germans consume too low)... Guys, this is said clearly everywhere else in the world except on German populist press... Even CEOs of huge German companies are keeping repeating this. Unfortunately many Germans are hiddent the truth, wake up guys...
17:44 July 31, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@ Kenneth Ingle

'The best thing Germany could do would be a return to the DM.'

Well said.
17:44 July 31, 2012 by friedenstempel
Juncker is politically responsible for the euro crisis. It is not upon him to educate others but to apologize.

Germans don''t believe that the Euro benefits them, but they know that they paid a price to their "allies" for unification: Maastricht. Rip off the Germans but do not insult them as beneficiaries because that is an old lie of the Euro. Germans would be better off with the Deutschmark and the Euro without Greece.
17:45 July 31, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Seems you're outnumbered again Smart2012. Awwww.
18:20 July 31, 2012 by smart2012
@i am the king: yes, because I am surrounded by BILD reading Germans... :-)

Read international press and the picture coming out will be completely different. It is not anyway my dream that USA is criticizing Merkel strategy, that English are criticizing Merkel strategy, that Soros is criticizing Merkel strategy, that Moody is not assessng postively missing strategy, even Schultz is criticizing it, even many other Germans working in economical companies... I am not alone, and btw, results are on my side. 1 year ago i said: France lost AAA, Germany will follow if Merkel does not change... and here we are, 1 year later with germany loosing manufacturing momentum, # of unemployed people increasing, big companies firing people (Opel/Siemens/Schlecker/Q cell/Deutsche bank). So well done Merkel
18:59 July 31, 2012 by schneebeck
@ smart2012

I am very interested to know what you think would have been the ideal solution to this European wide fiscal problem.

A wise leader in this fiscal problem would have enacted what policies? What would a wise leader have done?
19:15 July 31, 2012 by IchBinKönig
uh oh. here comes another idiotic Chomsky/Krugman diatribe.
19:31 July 31, 2012 by smart2012
This is what I would have done 1 year ago (when Greek problem started):

1. Short term action: reassure markets that Germany wants, loves and needs euro. Agree with other EU countries to give money to close the Greek issue and stop immediately speculation

2. Long term action:

a. give conditions to Greece that if they will nit hit the target they will have to leave Europe in 2-3 years.

b. Put a plan in place for all countries not meeing parameters to come into then into 2-3 years.

c. Monitor on a monthly bases on status.

d. Define a growth plan eg support taxwise tourism to Greece for Germans, and also agricultural product supply from Europe and not turkey (Greece not competitive to turkey due to euro)

This is what a wise statist would have done..

This would have kept q
19:46 July 31, 2012 by GolfAlphaYankee
@steel jaws:

"Since they lost WW2, the Germans have to take the blame for everything which goes wrong, whether it is just or not"

now you know what's being a Jew feels like :-))

@ IchBinKönig

"uh oh. here comes another idiotic Chomsky/Krugman diatribe."

Germans (and you) could actually learn something if you just read Krugman instead of vilifying him
20:06 July 31, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@ G.A.Y

Why would Ilisten to Krugman, when I can listen to the truth. Need proof??

22:47 July 31, 2012 by cheeba

What "international press" are you talking about?

I regurlarly read The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Economist, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Haaretz and The Neu Zuricher Zeitung.

These are all considered serious outlets. All of them pretty much agree that the whole Euro project has been an unholy mess and will ultimately end in disaster.

What "international press" do you get your information from?
08:17 August 1, 2012 by PNWDev

Learn something from Krugman? How about a name change to GoAwayAlphaYankeee and take Krugman with you? And if there is a little wiggle room available, take smartguy too. If there is not room, may I suggest a dog kennel on top of the car for him?


At least you can be assured there is one guy in this world entertained by your redundant, out-of-perspective and over-used rants. That would be me. When I need a good laugh, I look for a smartguy post.
11:01 August 1, 2012 by smart2012
cheeba, i think u are missing the point. Europe as it is led today by Merkel is not working (with people like Rosler saying silly things every second day).. International press says that if Merkel will not change, then Europe will end up in a disaster... There are solutions for making Europe succesfull which i do not have to tell as u know them already as they are repeated daily by internatiional press (ok i just say one, more power to BCE). U guys are blind, and if u keep believing in BILD Germany will fall apart ... alone u do not go anywhere... either u partner with Russia (I mean u give your a... to Russia), or you partner with China (I mean u give your a... to China), or you partner with USA (I mean u give your a... to USA), otherwise you need to build a strong Europe, which at the moment Merkel is not doing, to try to win election next years...
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