Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Horst Seehofer, Prime Minister of Bavaria, is against Merkel´s idea of a federal Europe

Seehofer - a voice of sanity

Horst Seehofer, the Prime Minister of the Free State of Bavaria - the most prospereous of the German states  - is a politician who´s influence on the national level in Germany should not be underestimated. Now Seehofer, who also is the leader of the CSU - sister party of Angela 
Merkel´s CDU - is openly declaring that he opposes Merkel´s idea of a federal Europe

SPIEGEL: The chancellor says: "We have to relinquish powers to Europe step by step." It sounds as if such a development could end in European federalism. Is that what you want, too?
Seehofer: Anyone who wants to transfer rights of sovereignty to Brussels, over and above certain rights of control, will encounter our resistance. The CSU will not support a European federal state and anything that moves in that direction. We don't want a European finance minister, and we don't want a European economics minister.
SPIEGEL: Many in the federal government, especially the finance minister, take a different view.
Seehofer: Anyone who wants to go that far would have to consult the German people. I want people to be more heavily involved in decisions on European issues in the future. We have to change the constitution in such a way to make referendums mandatory in three situations: when additional powers are to be transferred to Brussels; when the EU wants to accept new members; and when new aid programs that go beyond the current bailout funds are to be established in the context of the euro crisis.
SPIEGEL: In other words, you want citizens to have to approve all efforts to increase Germany's guarantees beyond where they are now?
Seehofer: That's right. The people should decide. And because I know that there is resistance to referendums in the political sphere, we'll write it into our CSU election platform. Then the people can vote on it in the next Bundestag election.

It is also interesting to note that Seehofer does not think that a "grexit" would be damaging for the euro: 
Seehofer: The country will need new money from the bailout fund in July, and that means that clear rules have to be observed. The troika has to determine whether the conditions have been met for the next tranche. If not, the aid will come to an end. Then there'll be a moment of truth…
SPIEGEL: … and the entire euro will fall apart.
Seehofer: No, I've never supported the theory that the withdrawal of one country would jeopardize the entire euro zone or even European integration. On the contrary, I believe that it would be more dangerous to keep the Greeks in the euro if the price means drifting into a debt union. That would create much bigger problems for our economy than a Greek withdrawal.

Read the entire interview here

Seehofer is a voice of sanity in Germany - and in Europe. On can only hope that he will put an end to Merkel´s and her finance minister´s  misplaced dreams of a federal Europe. 

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