Europe Revolts against Merkel's Euro-Zone Plan

Je l’avais mentionné que ça n’avait aucun sens ce ‘Pacte de compétitivité’ tenté de dire au pays souverain, comment diriger ?

Supposons que vous avez une classe de math, vous avez un brillant étudiant et le reste des étudiants, disons-le sont pas mal nul.

Que faites-vous, vous maintenez le rythme des cours pour satisfaire l’étudiant brillant en math ou vous ralentissez le cours pour satisfaire l’ensemble de la classe ?

Une autre solution, vous transférez l’étudiant brillant en math dans une classe enrichie, et vous enseignez les maths selon le bon rythme.

Puisque l’Allemagne est le seul pays qui performe adéquatement face au libre-échange, alors j’ai une solution pour vous ?

Sortez l’Allemagne de l’euro, et le reste, comme vous n’être pas très bon, vous allez dévaluer l’euro en fonction de votre réelle compétitivité

Et tout le monde va être heureux !

Enfin …

Extrait de: Europe Revolts against Merkel's Euro-Zone Plan, Christian Reiermann and Christoph Schult, Spiegel OnLine, 02/14/2011, (le texte a été réduit).

The so-called "Pact for Competitiveness" proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to further integrate the European Union on economic issues has not been well received. Biting criticism has come from across the European Union.

But other EU member states feel overrun by the new German-French axis, and resistance to the plan is currently taking shape across the 27-member bloc. The European Commission envisions a completely different structure for the planned crisis fund than that proposed by Berlin and Paris. Meanwhile, EU leaders strongly oppose the German-French competitiveness pact.

Planned as a coup, the proposal "went down like a lead balloon" at an EU summit on the Friday before last, the Financial Times concluded.

Criticism from All Sides


European leaders clearly relished tearing apart Merkel's ideas for a European economic government. Everyone had something to criticize, the long-time members from the West and the newcomers from the East, the small and the large countries, the debt-ridden southern countries and the fiscally disciplined northerners.

They all had one thing in common, namely that they were only familiar with the Chancellery's plans from an article in SPIEGEL. Merkel had not considered it necessary to have copies of the plan made for her EU counterparts. "The German document is like the Yeti," Czech Prime Minister Petr Neas quipped. "Everyone talks about it, but no one is familiar with it."

Of the 27 heads of state and government, 19 commented on the proposal. Everyone had something to criticize, from substance to style to structure. Merkel and Sarkozy want to create a Pact for Competitiveness that would obligate all euro zone members to adhere to sound social and fiscal policies, including a pension limit that does justice to an aging population, consistent corporate income taxes throughout Europe, and modest wage increases that would no longer be adapted automatically to rising prices.

Hard-Hearted Merkel

British Prime Minister David Cameron also protested against a two-speed version of Europe, saying he didn't want to see the European domestic market undermined.

Other summit participants accused Merkel of hard-heartedness. Coupling wages to price trends has been a "social model" in his country for decades," Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme interjected. Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, a Social Democrat, opposed Merkel's pension plans, saying: "I am not willing to tell my countrymen that they have to work longer." Even Finnish Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi, ordinarily a champion of reform, voiced concern.


Another group contested the harmonization of corporate income taxes Merkel and Sarkozy had brought into play. His country's economy depends on its low corporate tax, said Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias. "If I give in here, I won't be able to go home," he said. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen also defended his country's low corporate tax rates, saying: "We compete with non-EU countries."

Merkel's only supporter was her partner Sarkozy, who engaged in a heated debate with his Irish colleague. The French National Assembly has always complained about Ireland's low corporate tax rates, he said, and yet he supported the billions in aid for Ireland. "I rescued you, and I went to my parliament on your behalf," Sarkozy said testily. "Now you have to help us."

The debate, in short, clearly revealed the new lines of battle within Europe:

Berlin and Paris against the rest

And the spokesman for the rest of the countries is Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, whose relationship with Merkel and Sarkozy has been rocky for some time. "I really don't see any added value to the plan," he said critically. Eliminating wage increases pegged to inflation, Juncker said, is no more promising than the earlier proposal to suspend European Council voting rights for those countries who violate European Union budget deficit rules.

Extrait de:

Weber's Departure Undermines Merkel's EU Clout, By Veit Medick and Philipp Wittrock, Spiegel OnLine, 02/11/2011, (le texte a été réduit).

Friday's official announcement that Axel Weber, the president of Germany's Bundesbank and leading candidate as the next head of the European Central Bank, will step down has weakened Angela Merkel. It casts a spotlight on problems with the chancellor's EU policies and threatens to further erode her authority in Brussels.

Recently, Merkel has made herself an easy target of her critics' salvos. Since the euro crisis descended on the continent, much of the chancellor's former gloss has faded.

·         The trouble began with the Greece bailout. As the debt-strapped country threatened to fall into the abyss during the first half of 2010, Merkel delayed and delayed, only agreeing to a rescue package at the last minute. Critics say that by delaying, Merkel exacerbated the crisis and also made it a lot more expensive for everyone.

·         Ultimately, Merkel had to give her approval to the massive euro rescue fund. "Madame Non," as the chancellor was then being dubbed in Europe, had missed the mark. Only a few months later, there is already serious discussion about expanding the euro rescue fund.

·         Currently, the issue of controversy is the reform of the Stability Pact, the agreement that provides the basis of stability for the common currency. Merkel came up with the blueprint for a possible reform together with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the beach at Deauville, France, and angered other EU colleagues with their action. Merkel's own foreign minister even publicly opposed the plan.

·         The latest German-French initiative -- a "pact for competitiveness" for Europe -- has also irritated some. After all, it breaks previous taboos. Not long ago, the chancellor had been totally averse to the idea of a European economic government. Then Merkel shifted positions, saying she would only accept the idea if all countries in the EU participated, even those outside the euro zone, including Britain. Now, however, the chancellor is saying that an economic government could also be okay for the 17 euro-zone members. Some countries are complaining that they don't want to submit to Germany's dictates. Others fear they will be pushed to the wayside in what would essentially become a two-speed Europe.

Members of the German parliament have long complained about Merkel's sudden changes of direction. Her junior coalition partners in the FDP had a great deal of trouble supporting the multibillion euro bailout package, and they outright reject the idea of an economic government. And they are angry now because, they say, the chancellor didn't discuss the "pact for competitiveness" with them in advance.