Friday 24 November 2017

Fighting talk from Germans as Cameron meets Merkel reporters

GERMAN Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has predicted the demise of the pound in an interview published today – ahead of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Tensions have already emerged between Mr Cameron Ms Angela Merkel with the former fighting a proposal for a tax on financial transactions for banks and calling for the European Central Bank to play a stronger role in controlling the debt crisis.

Mr Schaeuble told the Die Welt newspaper that Europe will be united under a single currency, in the long-term with the focus now on stabilising the eurozone.

"It will probably be sooner than many people believe today in the British Isles."

In another blow for Mr Cameron, today ECB executive board member Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo reiterated that the bank would not be the lender of last resourt for indebted countries.

"The sovereign debt crisis is primarily the responsibility of the governments.

“One can ask the ECB to act, but only within its mandate," he said in Madrid this morning.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Merkel has called for "limited" treaty changes to ensure euro zone members stick to stability and growth pact rules relating to budget deficits.

Speaking at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Berlin, she said she was hopeful December’s European Council meeting will lead to agreements on the changes to EU treaties.

“We feel it is crucial... that we develop more of a possibility of enforcing the rules of the European institutions so that national governments do abide by their commitments," she said.

“A limited treaty change, only for the members of the euro zone, is of the essence.”

At an amicable conference, however, Mr Cameron said the two leaders still had differences to iron out including the European proposals for a financial transaction tax, which the British oppose.

“It is obvious that we don’t agree on every aspect of European policy, but I am clear that we can address and accommodate and deal with those differences,” he said.

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