Sunday 25 February 2018

Merkel turns screw over plans to rein in debt-ridden countries


Donal O'Donovan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pile pressure on Ireland by calling for European governments to move ahead rapidly with her plans to change the Lisbon Treaty, German government sources said last night.

The move comes after Ms Merkel won a victory at a European leaders' summit on October 24 when the leaders of all 27 EU states, including Ireland's Enda Kenny, agreed to consider making such changes.

However, during a Dail debate on October 26, Mr Kenny said any such move would take a long time -- and warned that the outcome could not be guaranteed because each government would be required to approve any changes.

Sources close to the Irish Government go further, saying Ms Merkel's focus on treaty changes is a distraction from the current euro crisis.

Many fear the move is aimed more at shoring up her flagging popularity at home than addressing the danger now facing Europe.

However, Germany wants concrete proposals to be ready by spring 2012, so that a so-called government convention can be agreed, according to German government sources.

"The (German) government is pushing for a limited amendment to the treaty to allow greater influence over states that bust budget rules and agreed obligations on stability and consolidation," a source said.

Irish Independent

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