Merkel says Greece should not have been let into the Eurozone

Tim Wallace
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GREECE should never have been allowed to join the euro, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at an election rally last night, blaming a lack of discipline more than a decade ago for the Eurozone’s economic troubles now.

And she also said it was wrong to allow Germany and France to run large budget deficits, breaking the stability and growth pact which was designed to keep countries in line.

It came as more gloomy economic data showed Germany struggling to lead the currency union to growth.

Spain’s economy shrank 1.6 per cent in 2012, deeper than the 1.4 per cent initially estimated, and growth for 2011 was revised down from 0.4 per cent to 0.1 per cent.

And France saw a record number of jobseekers in July. The number rose 10 per cent in the year to July, increasing by 6,000 or 0.2 per cent on the month to almost 3.3m.

German business confidence rose to its highest level in 16 months, beating expectations with a jump from 106.2 in July to 107.5 in August.

But analysts believe growth will be held back by other Eurozone states.

“Other surveys point to far more modest growth and exports will continue to be held back by weak demand from key markets elsewhere in the Eurozone,” said Capital Economics’ Jennifer McKeown.