With Vacation Over, Europe Is Back To Square Minus One: Merkel Backs Weidmann, Demands Federalist State
Earlier today we showed for the nth time that with insanity and insolvency ravaging the old continent, at least one person has the temerity to avoid sticking his head in the sand of collectivist stupidity and denial. That person is Bundesbank head Jens Weidmann, who until now may or may not have had the backing of Germany's elected leader, Angela Merkel. Moments ago it became clear whose side Merkel, who recently came back from vacation and is set to spoil the party that the (insolvent) mice put together in her absence, is on. From Reuters, who quotes Merkel in her just released interview with German ARD: "I think it is good that Jens Weidmann warns the politicians again and again," Merkel said. "I support Jens Weidmann, and believe it is a good thing that he, as the head of the German Bundesbank, has much influence in the ECB."
Merkel also has some additional words about the Grexit.
Merkel allies, particularly the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), have stepped up criticism of Greece in recent weeks, with senior CSU lawmaker Alexander Dobrindt saying at the weekend that he expected Athens to be out of the euro zone next year.
Last week, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras visited Merkel in Berlin and issued an impassioned plea for German politicians to tone down their rhetoric, saying it was making it impossible for Greece to win back confidence and launch its privatizations drive.
Merkel said she believed Samaras was making a serious attempt to turn Greece around and issued a similar warning to her fellow politicians in Germany, saying Europe was in a "very decisive phase" in its three-year old crisis.
"My plea is that everyone weigh their words very carefully," she said.
Which she certainly did when Samaras came to Germany begging for more money. She very definitely said absolutely nothing. What she did say, is that after all the posturing, masquerade, and outright lies, Germany now demands precisely what it demand months ago, a year ago, and when this whole European implosion started. A European Federalist state. Again from Reuters:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants an EU 'convention' to draw up a new treaty for closer European political unification to help overcome the bloc's sovereign debt crisis, weekly Der Spiegel said on Sunday.
Germany, the European Union's biggest economy, has long argued for more national competences, including over budgets, to be transferred to European institutions but faces strong resistance from other member states.
Merkel hopes a summit of EU leaders in December can agree a concrete date for the start of the convention on a new treaty, Spiegel said.
The idea, which Spiegel said Merkel's European affairs adviser floated at meetings in Brussels, recalls the 100-plus strong convention of EU lawmakers set up in 2001 - inspired by the Philadelphia Convention that led to the adoption of the U.S. federal constitution - charged with the task of preparing a European constitution.
The charter that finally emerged was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005 and it became instead the basis of the EU's Lisbon Treaty which is still in force today.
Many member states, recalling the lengthy disputes and setbacks that preceded the Lisbon treaty's entry into force, are reluctant to embark on another prolonged process of institutional reform.
Which is funny because as we were reminded earlier today by the Independent, it was none other than Europe, i.e. the Troika that forced Ireland into a bailout courtesy of a secret letter that is about to be unsealed (one can hope). Why: so European bankers aren't forced to mark to market the value of their insolvent loans either in Ireland or anywhere else.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said a secret "threatening" letter from the European Central Bank to his predecessor Brian Lenihan, which forced Ireland into the troika bailout in 2010, should now be released.
The letter has to date remained top secret and both the Department of Finance and the ECB have repeatedly refused to make it public.
Now Mr Noonan has said he favours it being made available, putting him on a potential collision course with the ECB, which is adamant that it remain "strictly confidential".
The controversial letter from the then ECB president Jean Claude Trichet to Mr Lenihan dated November 19, 2010, is said to have threatened the withdrawal of emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Ireland if the then government refused to accept the bailout, that included a ban on burning bondholders.
It is these same people that are now expected to not only continue footing the bill for the banker bailout, but to hand over their sovereignty, together with rest of insolvent Europe, over to Berlin, because the alternative is once again simply "unspeakable" (thank you Hank Paulson and 3 letter term sheets). Maybe not:
Some countries such as Ireland would have to hold a referendum on any new treaty and the process would increase pressure in Britain - where opposition to closer EU political union runs high - for a complete withdrawal from the EU.
However, Germany believes a much closer fiscal and political union - with EU oversight of national budgets - is needed to ensure that member states get their public finances fully in order and to restore stability to the euro currency.
All of the above summarized in one word: "volatility" which is what is about to come back to Europe with a vengeance as the fundamental problem at Europe's core is made all too clear once more: 17 countries in the "Union", 17 different languages, 17 election cycles, and 17 different rates of going broke, all of which, however, are converging toward unity with each passing day.