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

the sting Milestone

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

Ukraine: €8 million in humanitarian aid to withstand winter

We had the hottest June ever this year – this is what happened around the world

Can self-charging batteries keep us connected for ever? A young scientist explains

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

45th Anniversary of the French Confederation (Confédération Nationale des Junior Entreprises)

One good reason to feel less blue about the future of our oceans

OK computer: why the machine age still needs humans

DR Congo: Ebola response resumes despite ‘risky environment’

Coronavirus: MEPs call for solidarity among EU member states

Trump reshapes the Middle East at the expenses of Europe

UN resolution paves way for mass use of driverless cars

G20 LIVE: Fact Sheet from the G20 Leaders Summit and key outcomes (G20 Antalya 2015 Summary)

Migration crisis update: What are the chances of a fair deal at this EU Summit?

In Venezuela, Bachelet calls on Government to release prisoners, appeals for ‘bold steps towards compromise’

Why this city is paying people to move there

The JADE Spring Meeting is about to begin

Parliament demands ban on neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in the EU

Greece @ MWC14: Greek-born mobile champions at MWC 2014

New York and London mayors call on cities to divest from fossil fuels

Rights defenders jailed in Bahrain and UAE should be released unconditionally, UN urges

E-energy declaration: will energy digitalization be beneficial to the climate?

We underestimate the power of data at our peril. This is why

UNICEF reports uneven progress in 30 years of child rights treaty

Somalia: UN mission head condemns deadly terrorist attacks in Mogadishu, Galkayo

Here’s how the US can get the best out of 5G

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

How venture capital can transform global health

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

Why we need to redefine trust for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

European Youth Forum warns of a Peter Pan generation as a result of financial crisis and response to it

Siege of Syria’s eastern Ghouta ‘barbaric and medieval’, says UN Commission of Inquiry

3 steps to making multistakeholder partnerships a powerful force

Roaming market review: use of mobile phones abroad has surged since end of EU roaming charges

Inclusion and diversity isn’t just good for employees – it’s good for the bottom line

Except Poland, can climate change also wait until 2021 for the EU Market Stability Reserve to be launched?

China and China-EU Relations in the New Era

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

The Parliament defies a politically biased Banking Union

We can’t tell if we’re closing the digital divide without more data

Costa Coffee products (Copyright: Costa Coffee; Source: Costa Coffee website, Press area)

The start of the “Caffeine rush”: Coca-Cola acquires Costa Coffee days after Nestlé-Starbucks deal

Adriatic Sea: MEPs adopt multiannual plan for fisheries

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

The hottest new craze for German millennials? Gardening

ECB should offer more and cheaper liquidity if Eurozone is to avoid recession

Russia – US in Syria: Selling Afrin to Turkey but facing off ruthlessly for Ghouta

UN rights expert calls for civilian protection as fighting escalates between military and armed group

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

The West and Russia took what they wanted from Ukraine

Why enterprise risk management is the future for banks

Energy Union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement

FROM THE FIELD: A mountain of indigenous knowledge in Peru

Electronic cigarettes: is it really a safe alternative to smoking?

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

These are the fastest trains in the world

To Bing or Not to Bing? That is the question

The Commission neglects the services sector and favours industry

The European Youth Forum needs better signal for its “call” for Quality Internships

Eurozone governed by an obscure body and gray procedures

UN launches drive to highlight environmental cost of staying fashionable

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