Tuesday, July 17, 2012

“We always get the majority we need."

The Lehmann Letter (SM)

“We always get the majority we need."

That’s a quote from German Chancellor Angela Merkel according to a July 15 Wall Street Journal article:

“Merkel Says Future Bailout Liability Is Still Undecided” 

Many have criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for indecision in the face of the euro crisis: Waffling to placate the shifting moods of her electorate. Others have faulted her for doctrinaire fiscal and monetary austerity. Few in America have lauded her for vision, statesmanship and leadership.

But the Wall Street Journal article portrays a leader confident in her role, deliberately putting into place the building blocks of a new European monetary union.

Here are key excerpts.

First, the issue at hand:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said the question of liability for future bank bailouts in Europe hasn't yet been decided, dismissing criticism that she caved on key positions at a recent summit of European Union leaders.

“Ms. Merkel's comments come just days before Germany's parliament is set to vote on whether to approve up to €100 billion ($122 billion) in loans to refinance weakened Spanish banks. The vote is widely expected to pass, but criticism is growing at home that Ms. Merkel may be allowing European leaders to water down conditions placed on such bailouts in the future…..”

Then the key point:

“"We always get the majority we need," Ms. Merkel said…..

“Ms. Merkel is riding a wave of popularity among German voters. A recent poll put her approval ratings at nearly 70%, largely for her handling of the euro crisis. Ms. Merkel said that her European policies would be the central plank in next year's general election, expected to be held in September 2013.”

That looks like someone who is confident that she can build a united Europe around a strong and stable German economy.

(Summer season: The Lehmann Letter will be in summer-vacation mode during July and August.)

(To be fully informed visit http://www.beyourowneconomist.com/)

© 2012 Michael B. Lehmann

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