Debt crisis : Merkozy struggles to end austerity
10 January 2012
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are afraid to "attack the heart of the problem" of the debt crisis, deplores Polish daily Rzeczpospolita following a meeting at which the two leaders presented their latest fiscal compact. But imposing tighter budget discipline and automatic sanctions will not save the euro, warns the paper:
The German and French leaders do not yet know where the money might come from to save Spain and Italy – should the need arise. Neither do they have an emergency plan for Greece (in case negotiations with creditors fail). They are afraid to recapitalise their banks and at the same time they are avoiding questions about what it means to bailout the ruined euro countries. Their strategy is a strategy for defeat.
This disappointment is shared by Spanish daily El País which, in a leader article, demands that the Merkozy duo moves beyond making speeches. The two leaders addressed the issue of means to create jobs and to reinforce growth. If we are to take them at their word, El Païs says-
... we are facing the birth of a new phase of European economic policy, until now focused on the single goals of austerity and sound public finances [...] If things do not change, the up-coming treaty will enshrine an unacceptable asymmetry between extreme fiscal discipline on one hand and, on the other, a common economic policy founded merely on words.