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

Call to revitalize ‘language of the ancestors’ for survival of future generations: Indigenous chief

COVID-19 has hit Black Americans hardest. Healing this divide would lift the nation

In this ‘wildland’ farm in Britain, species thrive and yields are high

Parliament urges EU to take drastic action to reduce marine litter

ECB to people: Not responsible if you lose money on Bitcoin, your governments are

Trump in London poisons UK and Europe

A perfect storm is pushing children in sub-Saharan Africa into crisis

COVID-19: MEPs urge quick action to prevent “huge recession”

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

White Coat, Stained red

Intensified Al Qaeda and ISIL activity in Yemen ‘deeply worrying’, says UN Human Rights Office

A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

Commission proposes to purchase up to 300 million additional doses of BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine

Saudi Arabia: UN experts push for prompt release of women human rights defenders

Remittances could fall by $100 billion because of COVID-19 – here’s why that matters

Medical Devices Regulation: Commission welcomes Council support to prioritise the fight against coronavirus

These countries have the most powerful passports

INTERVIEW: Poverty, education and inclusion top new General Assembly President’s priority list

The right approach to addressing overcapacity problem from a Chinese perspective

Cybersecurity Act: build trust in digital technologies

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

A call for a new crop of innovators

Two rhythms and a sharpened pencil: how art can help us heal and make sense of the world

Young? You should work out the entrepreneurial heart before the mind

Ambassador Zhang Ming Attends the EP Debate on China-EU Relations and Answers Questions

Here are 10 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspirational quotes

At UN, youth activists press for bold action on climate emergency, vow to hold leaders accountable at the ballot box

From coca to cocoa: three lessons from Peru on how farmers can leave the drug trade behind

Want investors to care about natural resources? Put a price on them

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

Schengen: MEPs ready for negotiations on temporary checks at national borders

EU should promote immigration as a humanitarian issue in order to provide a more permanent solution

EP Brexit Steering Group calls on the UK to overcome the deadlock

What just happened? 5 themes from the COP24 climate talks in Poland

Where do health literacy and health policy meet?

No tragedy for HIV educators

Digital Single Market: Cheaper calls to other EU countries as of 15 May

‘Digital divide’ will worsen inequalities, without better global cooperation

This is how New York plans to end its car culture

Robots, Artificial intelligence and Dentistry

The financial world upside-down: debt failure closer

COP24: Paris agreement remained alive but fragile while the EU attempts to slow down CO2 emissions for new cars

From DIY editing to matchmaking by DNA: how human genomics is changing society

Europe’s top court hears Intel and sends € 1.06 bn antitrust fine to review

How cocoa farming can help stop deforestation

Capital Markets Union: Commission to boost Europe’s capital markets

‘Eden bonds’: how rewilding could save the climate and your pension

China is picking up the fight against rare diseases

UN mobilizes in Rohingya camps to support babies born of rape; young mothers face stigma

To rebuild trust in the media, we must empower its consumers

Palliative Care in Children, why it is less known and why do we need to raise awareness more?

Deliver ‘significant results now’, UN General Assembly President tells COP25 climate conference

‘Perseverance is key’ to Iraq’s future, UN envoy tells Security Council

Ukraine: turning challenges into opportunities


A challenge for inclusion in the Dominican Republic’s health care services

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

Half of the world’s population lack access to essential health services – are we doing enough?

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

International Day of Cooperatives sets stage for long-standing production and consumption

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