Only when Merkel grasps the nettle of eurozone debt mutualisation

It's not a question of if, but only when Merkel grasps the nettle of eurozone debt mutualisation

Press quote (The Telegraph)
09 April 2013

In his latest blog, Charles Grant of the CER, raises the question of whether Angela Merkel's stance on the European crisis might change after she is safely re-elected in September, and is therefore perhaps not as much beholden to the prejudices of her electorate as she is now.Mr Grant reckons that Mrs Merkel is not for turning, and that she will maintain this position even after being re-elected, whether as head of the current coalition or part of a new grand coalition with the apparently less hard line SPD.

Mr Grant has been speaking with officials in Berlin, and he reckons Merkel has cooled on the idea of major change of the type that would require a new treaty. He gives four reasons.

One is that Germans think the crisis is now essentially under control with the threat of a euro break-up basically off the table. This in turn removes the pressure for dramatic further integration.

Two, Berlin wants to deprive David Cameron of the opportunity for substantive renegotiation of Britain's position in Europe.

Three, France and most other member states don't want major treaty change because of difficulties with ratification and the possible need to consult skeptical electorates with another round of referendums.

And finally, Berlin has simply gone off the idea of political union, period. The German electorate is scarcely going to be any keener on bankrolling such a construct after the September election than it is now.