Merkel’s triumph will make Berlin more unbending

Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission (on the left) are both holding a document for the Angela Merkel, the German Federal Chancellor (in the middle), to read. (EC Audiovisual Services, 28/6/2013).  After Merkel’s electoral triumph yesterday the German leader would expect more such favours while in Brussels.

Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission (on the left) are both holding a document for Angela Merkel, the German Federal Chancellor (in the middle), to read. (EC Audiovisual Services, 28/6/2013). After Merkel’s electoral triumph yesterday the German leader would expect more such favours while in Brussels.

Angela Merkel’s personal triumph in the German elections yesterday will not change the European political scenery much but it will certainly affect the way some things are done in Brussels and probably in Berlin, if the socialists of the SPD finally join the winning Christian democrats of CDU-CSU in a grand coalition government. In any case the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the most senior member of the government and the governing party after the Chancellor, commenting on the results soon after it became clear that his party, the CDU, was only a few Bundestang seats away from absolute majority, he assured everybody that Germany will not change its stance towards Europe. Speaking at the ARD television late yesterday night he stated, “We have a broad fundamental consensus regarding the European policy”. Both Merkel and Schaeuble defended passionately the euro and the European project during the electoral campaign. Actually Merkel made the euro the main theme of her last pre-election speech.

No government soon

As the tradition wants it, the next German government will not be formed in a few days. It usually takes weeks and this will not change now. As things stand presently, it is more plausible that Merkel will seek a government partnership with the SPD’s socialists to form a grand coalition administration as they did during Merkel’s first term in the Chancellery. The last single party government in Germany was in 1957 under Conrad Adenauer, the first post war Chancellor governing the country from 1949 until 1963.

In any case Germany’s stance will not change regarding the two most important Eurozone issues that stand unresolved for months, the Greek enigma and the bank resolutions. Both of them triggered intense electoral confrontations, more so over the Greek affair. The other thorny discussion, namely the structure of the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for failing banks, didn’t acquire the dimensions of a prime electoral theme. It was debated in more closed circles where Berlin reaffirmed its position for a decentralised SRM, which will not disseminate all over the Eurozone part of the liabilities to be left behind, after a major bank resolution is accomplished.

As for the Greek case, Germany has already accepted that this country will need a third aid package towards the mid of 2014, but this time it won’t be tens of billions. Incidentally also yesterday the auditors representing the troika of Greece’s lenders EU-ECB-IMF were in Athens meeting the Financial Minister, Yiannis Stournaras. Reportedly they all agreed that Greece is bound to show this year a positive prime surplus, albeit small in its fiscal accounts. They also accepted that the 2013 recession reading will be smaller than predicted.

At this point it must be reminded that on the condition Greece attains this year a fiscal surplus, its Eurozone partners and lenders have undertaken the obligation to cut down the country’s sovereign debt to sustainable levels. This issue was extensively debated during the pre-election period in Germany and it reached even the eight o’clock news bulletins. During this debate both Chancellor Merkel and her Finance Minister Schaeuble repelled the proposal of a straight haircut of the loans Greece owes to its Eurozone partners/lenders. To note here that the largest credits having been accorded to Athens came from Berlin. However, both the two leading German politicians didn’t exclude the possibility of cutting down interest rates and extending pay off time, a proposal that amounts to a lesser overall burden for Greece but avoids a reduction of the principal.

All in all the triumphant Angela Merkel in her first comments on the electoral results yesterday night appeared very restricted, about the new government she is expected to present to Bundestag. She was careful not to exclude a possible grand coalition with the socialists of SPD. This prospect however doesn’t seem enough to change Germany’s positions on the two hot Eurozone issues, the Greek problem and the SRM. On the contrary, Berlin would rather appear more unbending on its opinions.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended

Eurozone’s north-south growth gap to become structural

Air pollution: Most EU Member States not on track to reduce air pollution and its related health impacts by 2030

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

These are the countries best prepared for the fight against cancer

Prospect of lasting peace ‘fading by the day’ in Gaza and West Bank, senior UN envoy warns

Security Council approves ‘historic’ political Haiti mission, ending UN peacekeeping role in the country

Learning lessons from across Europe – the hidden costs of COVID-19 on lung cancer

Why ‘video call fatigue’ might be making you tired during lockdown – and how to beat it

What is tuberculosis and why are deaths rising?

Mergers: Commission waives the commitments made by Takeda to obtain clearance of its acquisition of Shire

10 ways COVID-19 could reshape offices

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

4 lessons on human cooperation from the fight against Ebola

Collaboration and connectivity at ITU Telecom World 2019

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

What does artificial intelligence do in medicine?

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Progress made at COP25, despite lack of agreement to increase climate ambition

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

Countries must invest at least 1% more of GDP on primary healthcare to eliminate glaring coverage gaps

Brexit: the time has come for the UK to clarify its position

Starbucks and FIAT again under Commission’s microscope: is Europe ready to kick multinationals out of the house?

Why we need a blockchain bill of rights

India vs Virus: voices from the COVID front line

How the tech sector can power the shift to a sustainable economy

UN chief welcomes G20 commitment to fight climate change

Are we at risk of a financial crisis? Our new report takes a look

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Conserve Italia for participation in canned vegetables cartel

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

With 5 billion set to miss out on health care, UN holds landmark summit to boost coverage

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

Essential services on verge of shutdown in Gaza as emergency fuel set to run out

Here are three technology trends changing the way you travel

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

5 crises that could worsen under COVID-19

How can we make enough vaccine for 2 billion people?

China, forever new adventures

Quality Internships: Towards a Toolkit for Employers

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

YouTube stars get creative at UN, to promote tolerance

These Dutch tomatoes can teach the world about sustainable agriculture

daniela-runchi-jade-president__

A Sting Exclusive: “Education in Europe, fostering skills development inside and outside the school system”

How the mobile industry is driving climate progress on the scale of a major economy

EU defence gets a boost as the European Defence Fund becomes a reality

How the Belt and Road Initiative could support an ageing population

Better understanding the psychological impact caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our poisonous air is harming our children’s brains

EU legislation protecting home buyers approved in Parliament

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

Normal reactions to the abnormality of the pandemic

How climate change sparks innovation for fragile communities

Thai cave boys spared thundershowers, highlighting extreme climate disruption: UN weather agency

Batteries included: how better storage can transform renewable energy

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

Why the euro may rise with the dollar even at lower interest rates

New Eurobarometer survey shows: The majority of Europeans think the EU should propose additional measures to address air quality problems

We must stop turning a blind eye to the world’s health crises

Living in a pandemic: what are the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of the youth?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: