Open Europe Blog

Merkel refuses to fold

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a tough cookie.

Sandwiched between Deauville and tomorrow’s EU Summit, Dr. Merkel took to the podium today to defend the controversial pact with President Sarkozy on economic governance in the eurozone that has left both German politicans and EU leaders incensed (but in different ways).

Addressing the Bundestag this afternoon, a firm Merkel said both President Sarkozy and herself will relentlessly insist on a “culture of stability” at tomorrow’s European Council summit. She stressed the necessity of taking “precautions today for dealing with future crises” in the eurozone.

Such precautions, she said, will simply have to include a Treaty change. Merkel stated that the measures taken earlier in the year to bail out Greece were “unavoidable” but did not provide long-term solutions. She insisted on a new, robust and legally unassailable “crisis management framework” anchored firmly in a new EU treaty; a move that she admitted is “ambitious”. But she confidently asserted that, for the EU

success will only come with a change to the treaty…improvement is always possible, even if the road is rocky.

Presumably responding to Luxembourgish Foreign Minister Asselborn’s and others’ sneer that Europe does not work with only a “two-stroke engine”, the German chancellor said, “the Franco-German union is not everything in the EU, but, without a German and French union, it is not much.”

Tomorrow’s summit could be really interesting…

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