Sunday, 29 July 2012

“We need more Europe”—Merkel

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has said the euro zone was moving inevitably towards a “political union,” requiring countries to cede more sovereignty and leading to more of a multi-speed Europe, with non-euro states in the slow lane. “We need more Europe, we need not only a monetary union, but we also need a so-called fiscal union, in other words more joint budget policy,” according to Merkel.
She emphasised that a political union was also necessary. “And we need most of all a political union—that means we need to gradually give competencies to Europe and give Europe control,” she said. “Whoever is in a currency union will have to move closer together. We have to be open to make it possible for everyone to participate. But we cannot stand still because some do not want to go with us,” she said.
Most EU officials see the process of integration taking five to ten years at best, much longer than the view of the markets. According to the president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, the aim is to have detailed proposals in October.
Merkel’s push for greater EU integration also underlined a growing rift with our major trading partner, Britain, which said that it would not take any part in a euro-zone banking union as envisaged by the ECB and the Commission. The chancellor of the exchequer (finance minister), George Osborne, told BBC Radio: “There is no way that Britain is going to be part of any euro-zone banking union.

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