Europe’s currency union may be inching ever closer to the brink of collapse, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has a message for those pressing her to ride to the rescue: Germany is not as strong as it looks, and certainly not strong enough to prop up the rest of Europe.
“Germany’s strength is not infinite,” Ms. Merkel told the Bundestag on Thursday. “Germany’s powers, too, are not unlimited. Consequently, our special responsibility as the leading economy in Europe means we must be able to realistically size up our powers, so we can use them for Germany and Europe with full force.”
The most important actor in the European drama, Ms. Merkel said that she would resist any outside attempts to force Germany to consent to what she called “simple” and “counterproductive” quick fixes. Once again, she rejected jointly issued euro bonds or other forms of shared debt, which several leaders, including President François Hollande of France, have called for.
“I know that it is arduous, that it is painful, that it is a drawn-out task,” Ms. Merkel said. “It is a herculean task, but it is unavoidable.”Page 1 of 7 | Next Page