Merkel’s comments test EU patience

GERMAN chancellor Angela Merkel’s repeated interventions in the euro crisis have prompted anger among EU officials, who fear that Germany is turning its back on the Eurozone’s interests in favour of its own.

Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday that he is “concerned that in Germany, the federal (government) and local authorities are slowly losing sight of the European common good”. European Central Bank official Ewald Nowotny has admitted that he is “irritated” with Merkel.

Merkel has made several proclamations seen as unhelpful by EU officials, in particular her insistence on reiterating that private bond traders must share the burden of bailouts by accepting haircuts on their investments.

TIMELINE | ANGELA MERKEL’S INTERVENTIONS

29 October: Angela Merkel proposes that the new EU bailout mechanism include haircuts for private bond traders.

10 November: Merkel reiterates her position, followed by a reassurance that it would only apply after 2013.

18 November: Merkel says she is “completely convinced” that the measure must be adopted.

23 November: Merkel says the euro’s situation is “exceptionally serious”.

24 November: Merkel asks in Reichstag: “Have politicians got the courage to make those who earn money share in the risk as well?”

25 November: Merkel rows back, saying “this is about a future crisis mechanism”, and won’t apply to current investors.