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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

A Sting Exclusive: “Infrastructure can lay the groundwork for the Sustainable Development Goals” by Mr Fulai Sheng, UN Environment Senior Economist

How the diaspora is helping Venezuela’s migration crisis

Japan must urgently address long-standing concerns over foreign bribery enforcement

Almost all businesses expect to face a crisis. And how they deal with them really counts

5 surprising ways to reuse coffee grounds

European Youth Forum welcomes steps towards raising awareness of youth rights by EU ministers

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: violence surges in Nigeria, anti-Semitism on the march, taxing pollution to tackle climate crisis, and more

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

Dear China

On our way to China

Cum-ex tax fraud scandal: MEPs call for inquiry, justice, and stronger tax authorities

“I believe that startups are for grown-up men, those, who have already achieved something “

Is Haiti better prepared for disasters, nine years on from the 2010 earthquake?

June infringements package: key decisions

‘Beyond reasonable doubt’, international court convicts notorious DR Congo rebel leader of war crimes

Mergers: Commission prohibits proposed merger between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

EU Council agrees to reform the system for motor vehicles but with “restricted” power for the Commission

DR Congo: Electoral process advancing despite threat of armed groups, UN envoy tells Security Council

International trade statistics: trends in first quarter 2019

Why a multi-stakeholder approach is essential to our risk resiliency

UN’s Guterres condemns ongoing airstrikes on Syria’s hospitals, medical workers

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

World Cancer Day: Early cervical cancer diagnosis could save lives of over 300,000 women

How drones can manage the food supply chain and tell you if what you eat is sustainable

European Court of Justice to Google: It is #righttobeforgotten but not #righttoberemembered

A Sting Exclusive: the EU referendum is about fighting for an outward-looking Britain

Politicization of migrant ‘crisis’ in Hungary making them scapegoats, independent UN human rights expert warns

From inconvenience to opportunity: the importance of international medical exchanges

A European Discovers China: 3 First Impressions

MEPs strongly welcome the Global Compact on Migration

Clean Mobility: Commission tables proposal on car emissions testing in real driving conditions

MWC 2016 LIVE: T-Mobile US reveals 5G trial plans

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for more efforts to ensure adoption of security proposals

South Eurozone countries threatened by rising borrowing cost and expensive euro

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

Sustainable development demands a broader vision, says new OECD Development Centre report

Schools in Florida now have to teach mental and emotional health

Peace in the Gulf ‘at a critical juncture’ says DiCarlo, urging continuation of Iran nuclear deal

‘Stronger’ effort must be made to cement peace deal for South Sudanese women and girls: UN Women chief

Fairer food supply chain: Agriculture MEPs clamp down on unfair trading

The Chinese spirit

Faith can overcome religious nationalism. Here’s how

Electronic Cigarettes: Are they really as safe as we think?

FROM THE FIELD: Enslaved Guatemalan indigenous women wait for reparations

Why do humanitarian crises disproportionately affect women?

European Commission increases support for the EU’s beekeeping sector

‘Still time’ to stop a ‘bloody battle’ for Libya’s capital, insists Guterres

How Islamic finance can build resilience to climate change

Remarks by President Juncker at the joint press conference with President Tusk ahead of the G20 Summit

Tackling Youth Unemployment

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

From Kenya to China, here’s why countries should start working together on AI

This is what the gender pay gap looks like in eight countries

UN must bring more women police officers into the fold to be effective – UN peacekeeping official

EU-Japan trade agreement enters into force

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

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