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Angela Merkel: Woman Under Pressure In The Midst Of Crisis …

  • October 31st, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

merkel-bxl-council-dec-06.jpgThe German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is meeting the heads of world economic organisations, with observers tipping she will continue refusing to budge on her government’s conservative economic and financial politics.

AUSTERITY VERSUS PUMP-PRIMING

In Berlin, 30.10.12, she was set to host the chief executives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organisation, as well as a set of other international agencies.

On the agenda was the debate between using austerity policies to try and defray government debt, and allowing stimulus, to generate economic activity, jobs – and ultimately a better capacity to keep on paying out debt.

The organisational heads have signaled their worry over the continuing debt crisis in Europe, calling first of all on the French President, Francois Hollande.

The President, from the Socialist Party, made a case for more thorough regulation, in a situation he described as “not the best”.

In Merkel’s far more conservative view the answer has to lie in  balanced budgets, a line she is under strong domestic pressure to follow, given that Germany remains the main creditor country in the European Union.

GERMANY AND GREECE

Earlier this month the Chancellor made a one-day visit to Greece (12.10.12), to brave the ignominy being heaped on Germany there, over its insistence on punishing budget cuts – in  exchange for debt relief from the EU.

See EUAustralia Online “Decisions in Germany And Netherlands Shore-up EU’s Crisis Strategy …”, 14.9.12; “EU Summit: Closer To A “United States Of Europe”?, 30.6.12.

Tens of thousands attended demonstrations against the visit, chanting “Imperialisten Raus” (imperialists out!) — some throwing up flags and other references to the Nazi past.

The two countries have close relations, for example with Germany providing a major market for tourism, and taking virtually all of Greece’s dairy exports– to say nothing of indebtedness to German financial institutions.

“IRON LADY?”

Angela Merkel, 58, told the Greek government and public that Germany would be a “good partner” for them in Europe; insisting on the debt repayments, but prepared to work cooperatively with them.

Building now a reputation for strong-mindedness, if not yet another “Iron Lady” of Europe, she was said to be in good agreement with fresh criticisms being made by the government of the United Kingdom, and many of its citizens.

statler-waldorf.jpgThat criticism was in the magazine Der Spiegel (17.10.12), which penetrated Anglo-Saxon territory, suggesting that curmudgeonly British attitudes towards, or against the EU, called to mind Statler and Waldorf – grumpy old characters from the Muppets puppet show.

Ms Merkel, the fiscal and financial conservative, has signed on nevertheless to the negotiated “European” solution for economic problems in the longer-term – more integration and expansion of the EU, including integrated fiscal policies.

Reference

Deutsche Welle, Bonn, “Merkel to host global financial leaders”, 30.10.12. http://www.dw.de/merkel-to-host-global-financial-leaders/a-16341942, (30.10.12).

Pictures  wikipedia

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