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Germany 'will back euro' if other members provide right support

EUROPEANS should brace themselves for more rather than less crisis management in 2012, but Germany will back the euro as long as other countries help, German ambassador Eckhard Lubkemeier said in Trinity College Dublin yesterday.

The ambassador warned that the present situation was "grave", but said both the German government and people remained committed to the single currency.

"The chancellor has said repeatedly: 'Europe fails if the euro fails'," Mr Lubkemeier told the event hosted by the Institute for International Integration Studies.

"The government is acutely aware of what is at stake. And not just the German government.

"All major legislation on measures to stabilise the eurozone has been passed with opposition support in the Bundestag. And recent opinion polls have shown that two out of three Germans believe in the future of the euro," he added.

The speech, which had to be moved to one of Trinity's largest lecture theatres because of large interest, is part of a charm offensive that has seen Germany woo public opinion across the EU as the crisis deepens and many citizens in some countries disagree with Germany's emphasis on saving rather than more borrowing.

Some critics have even suggested Germany is no longer fully committed to the euro.

"All major political forces and the German people continue to see the euro as essential to the well-being of my country," the ambassador said yesterday. "If Germany were to renege on its commitment to the euro, it would be doomed."

Germany will continue to support the eurozone even if this means incurring substantial risks and costs, he added, before warning that Europe's biggest economy cannot afford to do this by itself.

Irish Independent