The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has suggested that there may need to be a change in EU treaties to ensure fiscal discipline in the euro zone.
“There is no rule so far to force the countries to comply with the Stability and Growth Pact,” she said. “Therefore, treaty changes must not be a taboo in order to achieve more commitment.”
She was supported by the Italian minister for foreign affairs, Franco Frattini, who said: “Different countries have different views on European federalism, but Italy is ready to give up all the sovereignty necessary to create a genuine European central government. We must work seriously towards the formation of a genuine European economic government.”
The chairperson of the Euro Group, Jean-Claude Juncker, joined the chorus, saying, “I wouldn’t exclude a treaty change in the coming months. In Germany there’s a growing awareness that treaty changes have to be envisaged.”
He added that a change in the treaties could help the euro zone become more flexible and respond better to any future crisis.
Juncker is considering putting forward a proposal for a permanent head of the Euro Group, meaning that he would concentrate on his role as prime minister of Luxembourg. And the outgoing managing director of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, chipped in, telling participants at a Paris conference that the bloc required a European “federal government with a federal finance minister.”
The reprobate warmongering Green, Joschka Fischer, capped it all, saying that “we need to hand over budget prerogatives to the EU . . . We need similar pension ages . . . We are going to have to draw all the threads together . . . [and] future integration steps need a political Europe."
The British chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, seems to agree. “I think it is on the cards that there may be a treaty change imposed in the next year or two,” he said, to “further strengthen fiscal integration” in the euro zone.
It appears that a proposal will be tabled next month that would see negotiations over an EU treaty change launched as early as December.
Watch out! The Euro-federalists are on the march.