Euro Zone Crisis: Why Put a Dog “In Charge of the Sausages”?

The title of this post is explained in the final paragraph.

Expectations for Thursday and Friday’s euro zone summit in Brussels became quite a bit dimmer — became pessimistic — on Wednesday after German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a speech to the Bundestag, the German Parliament, said that she will not yield to pressure for Germany to share debt burdens without a political framework. She also rejected any moves towards the common issuance of debt in the form of euro bonds, which would lower borrowing costs for countries carrying heavy debt such as Italy and Spain.

Specifically, Merkel said that it would be “economically wrong and counterproductive” to undertake measures that would lead to Germany being “overstretched” and that

Control and liability must not be disproportionate to one another. Common sharing of debt can only take place when sufficient control has been established.

Merkel also stated that euro bonds, euro bills and debt redemption funds are unconstitutional in Germany. Her rejection of such measures portends poorly for the Brussels summit where, besides discussing immediate concerns including a possible €10 billion bailout of Cyprus and a €100 billion bailout for Spain’s banks, European leaders are to discuss a ten-year plan whose aim is to render the 17 countries of the eurozone into a political federation with its own finance ministry and debt sharing.

With French President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy seeking quicker action on the debt crisis that began in Greece in late 2009, Merkel is becomingly “increasingly isolated,” says Bloomberg. On Wednesday night, she met in Paris with Hollande, who has championed growth and became president “on a ticket of anti-austerity,” as the BBC says. While noting that “there is no one magic formula… with which the government debt crisis can be overcome in one go,” Merkel did say that “progress” for measures for growth had been made.

But as Merkel speaks of proceeding at a measured pace, she is overlooking the very pressing problems facing the euro zone countries. Said Niall Ferguson, a professor of economic history at Harvard University, in Bloomberg:

The key negotiators, including the German chancellor, do not really understand the timeframe we’re working under…The timeframe for financial crises is days. The timeframe for structural reforms is years.

Anti-austerity protests continue. In Greece, restaurant workers called a 24-hour strike on Wednesday (smack in the middle of the tourist season). Early on Wednesday morning, armed arsonists drove a burning truck through the entrance of Microsoft’s Greek headquarters in Athens; fortunately, no workers were in the building at the time. Police describe the attack as “unprecendented” and the fire department estimates that some €60,000 in damage occurred. In Italy, 42 statisticians, researchers and computer technicians from ISTAT, Italy’s national statistics office, staged a sit-in pay protest that delayed the released of Italian business morale data by a half-hour. (Despite continued high unemployment, uncertainty, etc., this index rose to 88.9 in June from 86.6 in May.)

Cyprus took over the rotating six-month European Union presidency from Denmark. Given that Cyprus is seeking a billion-euro bailout, Kurt Lauk, the president of the economic advisory board that has ties with Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats, commented:

This is the paradox of the European Union, that the dog should be put in charge of the supply of sausages!

Though the questions must be asked, is the debt-plagued country holding the presidency really as “in charge” as the country whose support for any reforms, debt-sharing measures, etc. in the euro zone is key?

Related Care2 Coverage

Euro Zone Crisis: A Plan For the (Sort Of) United States of the Euro?

Euro Zone Crisis: Bailouts For Spain, Cyprus; Health Woes For Greek Officials

Record 11% Unemployment in the Euro Zone

 

Photo by istolethetv

33 comments

Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago

noted

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Reinhard B.
Reinhard B5 years ago

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

"Die Größe eines Volkes und seine moralischen Fortschritte können daran gemessen werden, wie es seine Tiere behandelt."

Those who are cruel to animals cannot be righteous human beings.

Wer gegen Tiere grausam ist, kann kein guter Mensch sein.

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Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

Why give money to the banks? Don't they have all the money already? And they mismanage it. They'd be better off giving the money to the people who need it, the people! They should let the current banks die. The banks don't care about us, why should we care about them?

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Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y5 years ago

No dogs in charge - Germany and France hold the trump cards since they have the bulk of capital assets in the EU. Along with Luxembourg, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, these are the EU's major industrialized regions with still robust financial sectors. Not surprising for them to want stricter oversight. They're also the best at making sausages so the comment is cultural. After all, Frankfurt and Hamburg gave us two of the most famous sausages in the world.

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Roderick D.
Roderick D5 years ago

Stella W -- I agree with you 100% - and I would have liked to send you a Green Star for your on-point and constructive comment, but Care won't let me. It burns me up to watch my services slashed, taxes raised to pay for bailouts while the politicians continue their merry way living a very comfortable life for doing nothing. And don't get me started on the leeches and parasites called Members of the European Parliament. We send 14 of them to Brussels and I've yet to get an ackowledgment to any emails/questions sent them or to hear of one thing they've done for our country except gorge themselves on the teat of the EU sow.

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Roderick D.
Roderick D5 years ago

Grace A don't know who you are or where you live but I'd love to send you a whole sack full of green stars for your intelligent, insightful comment- one of the best I've ever read on Care. Alas Care in its infinite wisdom refuses to let me do this until I have a gazillion friends.

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Florence Eaise
Florence Eaise5 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Maria D'Oporto
Past Member 5 years ago

@ Grace M, , totally agree with you!!

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Stella Ward
Stella Ward5 years ago

Grace M. I would like to send you a green star. I've been asking the same thing about our own politicians here in Greece. I think they should lower their pay to the minimum wage, do away with the perks and have to work many years to get a pension that is enough to live on and nothing more, just like the rest of the population is forced to endure. They should be at the forefront of paying of the debts that they have put each of our nations in due to their own incompetence, greed and wrongful dealings. If we as nations force our politicians to do all that, then we might finally see positive changes to each of our nations.

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Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

Thank you for this article

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