German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a “new Europe” by creating closer political ties and tighter budget rules in the 27-nation European Union.
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Speaking to her Christian Democratic Union party’s annual congress today, Merkel advocated a tighter fiscal union, though she stopped short of proposing jointly-sold euro bonds, an idea arising out of the sovereign debt crisis that Germany has repeatedly rejected.
Now that leadership changes in Italy and Greece are underway and both countries are moving forward with critical austerity measures, Merkel has turned her attention to re-shaping the euro and the future of the European Union in order to shore up the region’s finances and prevent a future crisis.
“What she means is that either we get more Europe now or the project will die,” said Ralph Brinkhaus, a CDU member of parliament’s finance committee. “This means that Germany must give up some sovereign rights and some party colleagues and voters may find this hard to swallow. But there’s no alternative.”
“If the euro fails, Europe fails,” warned Merkel, who said that her mission was to save the “historic” EU project.
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“The chancellor is saying that she doesn’t want to go down in history as being responsible for the collapse of the euro,” said Elmar Brok, a German CDU member of the European Parliament. “She wants to break out now and save the project. To quote the country’s first post-war chancellor Adenauer in 1952: ‘the European nation states have a past only but no future.’”