• Germany's news in English

Discord overshadows Franco-German harmony

The Local · 23 Sep 2012, 15:40

Published: 23 Sep 2012 15:40 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

reconciliation, there was disagreement at the weekend about plans to monitor Europe's crisis-hit banks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande met on Saturday at the Baroque palace in Ludwigsburg, southwestern Germany, where Charles de Gaulle gave a watershed speech to German youth in 1962.

But despite affirmations that European unity was the only way out of the debt turmoil lashing the euro, they differed over a key plank of crisis-fighting: tighter checks on the European banking sector.

"I support a banking union, it is an important measure and we must proceed step-by-step," Hollande told reporters, while stressing that such a framework should be in place "the earlier the better".

Merkel, for her part, said Berlin also backed European oversight of lenders but urged a more cautious approach, saying haste could prove costly.

"For me it is important that quality is ensured. It is pointless to do something very quickly that in the end doesn't work," she said.

"It must be thorough, it must be of good quality and then we'll see how long it takes. We will get our finance ministers to work with each other on it as quickly as possible."

EU leaders agreed the new bank supervision system in June as part of a deal to allow the bloc's rescue funds to lend directly to stricken banks instead of passing aid through countries and so adding to their debt woes.

It is a first step towards a banking union and dovetails with moves towards the deeper economic and political cooperation aimed at taming the debt crisis which has brought the eurozone economy to a standstill.

But the proposal has driven a wedge between Germany and France, the team that sees itself as the engine of European integration.

While France would like to hand the European Central Bank power to supervise all 6,000 eurozone banks from January, Germany would like it to only keep an eye on big banks and is in little hurry.

Story continues below…

Merkel and Hollande were celebrating the day 50 years ago when De Gaulle spoke to young Germans, in their own language and without notes, and offered a new beginning in bilateral ties.

Merkel and Hollande, who have struggled to keep their initial friction to a minimum since the president took office in May, also discussed a mooted merger between EADS and Britain's BAE to create what would be the global aeronautics industry’s sector leader.

France and Germany hold major stakes in EADS, while the British state has a golden share in BAE. Saturday's festivities were the latest in a series of events celebrating 50 years of partnership between the wartime foes, now the EU's two biggest economies.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:17 September 23, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Where is the European harmony, guys? I read here that this was going to bring harmony and save us from wars. No, I must be confused. I guess, you guys were talking about the harmony of the Arab Spring, right? Or something about the 'Global Warming' threat?

Its a good thing that I get all my news @ theLoco.de! I would hate to actually learn the truth, ever.
21:29 September 23, 2012 by Hendrich Stein
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure they say.

To this regard I suspect acting sooner than later is on order.

No lessons learned from failed policies that still risk seeking to act after the damage becomes irreversible... and reflected best by the beneficiaries, the larger players at the expense of of the little guy all along.

United Europe will stand, divided it will fall, in this oxymoron of a Union amid diversified interests.

Germany can save the day... but will it determines to be seen should they reciprocate the great liberties they were extended in able for them to exist, let alone become who they are today, Europe's economic powerhouse.
23:07 September 23, 2012 by usman.iftikhar
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
02:24 September 24, 2012 by sonriete
Better to take plenty of time to study this and make sure it comes out right, as Merkel says.

The rushed into the Euro prematurely and look at all the misery we have now with these endless bail outs, all the money made from a lower currency now goes to the bail outs anyway, where is the benefit?
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd