Germany shocks EU with fiscal overlord demand
Germany has stated its exorbitant price for keeping Greece in the euro and agreeing to mass bond purchases by the European Central Bank.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
16 Oct 2012
There must be an EU “currency commissioner” with sweeping powers to strike down national budgets; a “large step towards fiscal union”; and yet another EU treaty.
Finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dropped his bombshell in talks with German journalists on a flight from Asia, and apparently had the blessing of Angela Merkel, the chancellor. “When I put forward such proposals, you can take it as a given that the chancellor agrees,” he said.
Officials in Brussels reacted with horror. “If that is the demand, they are not going to get it. Nobody in the Council wants a new treaty right now,” said one EU diplomat.
“We’ve got the fiscal compact and quite enough fiscal discipline. Not even the Dutch want a commissioner telling them how to tax and spend,” he said.
The new demands risk another stormy summit in Brussels on Thursday, pitting Germany against the Latin bloc. The last summit in June ended with an acrimonious deal in the small hours on a banking union that began to unravel within days.