- Masonic Goldman Sachs Controls Europe (France 24 – Video)
Angela Merkel said she would “give up a piece of national sovereignty” to save the euro, amid explosive rows between Germany and its neighbours over bail-outs, fiscal policy and financial taxes.
- Angela Merkel in bold unity bid to save the euro (Telegraph, Nov. 16, 2011):
The German Chancellor’s bid for unity, made at a summit with Ireland, was lost on a day of division and deadlock which led to Europe’s core economies being punished by the bond markets yet again.
Italian borrowing costs were pushed to 7.1pc, back into the “bail-out zone”, despite radical intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB). Spanish 10-year bond yields at 6.4pc were dangerously close to the danger area, while French bonds remained at record peaks above German bunds.
With political tensions already high, the sudden and immediate resignation of the International Monetary Fund’s European chief Antonio Borges led to speculation of discord at the global lender.
Mr Borges, who stepped down for “personal reasons”, had to backtrack last month on comments suggesting the fund could buy the debt of stressed governments. He will be replaced by IMF veteran Reza Moghadam.
Meanwhile, Mario Monti was sworn in as prime minister and finance minister in Italy, at the head of a government of technocrats. Lucas Papademos, Greece’s new leader, won a crucial vote of confidence with a huge majority.
Mrs Merkel praised Ireland for its efforts to reform. But the country’s advances were overshadowed by divisions over the role of the ECB in the crisis. In Paris, where the bond yields were described as “unjustified”, there were demands for Germany to agree to hand greater power to the ECB. Francois Baroin, finance minister, said France wanted the central bank to stand behind the euro but added: “Germany, for historical reasons, has shut the door to a direct involvement of the ECB.”
Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s finance minister, was categorical in his stance, unwilling to give up Germany’s sovereignty over the ECB veto. The ECB was the “wrong solution” he said, and one that would see Europe “pay a high price in the long run”.
Sir Mervyn King robustly defended Mr Schauble’s position, saying it was “not the job” of the ECB to bail out the eurozone. The governor of the Bank of England said: “The ECB feels, and with total justification, that it’s not the job of a central bank to do something which a government could perfectly well do itself but doesn’t particularly want to admit to doing.”
However, although gilt yields hit record lows yesterday, Sir Mervyn said he blamed the crisis for holding back the UK economy. He suggested that Germany should be using its own firepower to solve it. He said: “The euro area does have the resources, if you were to regard it as a single country, to make appropriate transfers within itself.”
Germany was also attacked by Vince Cable, who criticised its plans to impose a financial transaction tax. The Business Secretary said: “I think the Germans are [taking] a completely unjustified position.”
He added that Britons would not want to pay a tax that is only “diverted into common market agricultural policy and roads that go nowhere”.
David Cameron is expected to take up the row at a meeting with Mrs Merkel in Berlin tomorrow. The Prime Minister wants to ensure the eurozone does not create a “super-bloc” able to out-vote the wider European Union, especially on financial regulation matters.
Even parts of Europe’s agreed rescue deals were under threat. In Greece, the leaders of two members of the three-party opposition refused to sign a pledge to implement the austerity measures agreed in Brussels last month. Without the signatures of Antonis Samaras and George Karatzaferis, the crucial €8bn (£6.8bn) tranche of aid to Athens will remain frozen.
Amid more strike action, Mr Papademos called for unity in Greece. He also urged European leaders to swiftly implement “radical measures to deal with the crisis”, including the “resources and flexibility of the EFSF” bail-out fund.
Mr Papademos and Evangelos Venizelos, the finance minister, met the Institute of International Finance to discuss private bondholder involvement in the bail-outs.
Despite the turmoil, European stockmarkets held their nerve. In London, the FTSE was off 0.2pc. However, US stocks fell in late trading after ratings agency Fitch warned that an escalation of Europe’s debt crisis will pose a threat to US banks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.6pc.