Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

Merkel, Bundestag defend parliament after Monti remarks


(ANSA) - Berlin, August 6 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel
moved to defend the Bundestag on Monday after Italian Premier
Mario Monti said leaders should not let themselves be tied down
by their legislatures in European Union negotiations.
"The chancellor's opinion is that we in Germany have always
done well with the right balance between parliamentary support
and the participation of parliament," Georg Streiter, one of
Merkel's spokespersons, was quoted as saying by the DPA agency.
In an interview published on Sunday by German weekly Der
Spiegel, Monti said that "if governments let themselves be bound
completely by the decisions of their parliaments without
maintaining their own scope for negotiation, Europe is more
likely to break up than it is to see closer integration".
The comments were criticised by all sides of the political
spectrum in Germany.
"Parliamentary checks on European policy are beyond any
debate," said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the chairman
of the Free Democratic Party which is allied in government with
Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU). "We need to
strengthen, not weaken, democratic legitimization in Europe".
Joachim Poss of the opposition Social Democratic Party
(SDP) echoed those sentiments.
"Acceptance of the euro and saving it is reinforced by
national parliaments, not weakened by it," Poss said.
The president of Germany's Bundestag, Norbert Lammert,
later added his voice to the chorus of criticism.
"The opposite is true," said the parliamentary speaker and
member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), adding that
not only is parliamentary support for European policy agreements
a requirement of all national constitutions but also a
precondition for obtaining popular consensus.
"In any event it is more acceptable for our juridical
structures and democracy to disappoint the expectations of the
markets than the other way round," said Lammert.
In his interview, Monti was calling for greater flexibility
from Merkel over how the European Union tackles the eurozone
crisis and suggested there could be a backlash if this does not
The German government and the Bundesbank have blocked
several possible measures to ease the crisis, such as the
issuance of eurobonds to share the debt burden and the idea of
giving the soon-to-be-launched ESM rescue fund a banking
Merkel has repeatedly argued that the only way to restore
confidence in the under-fire single currency in the long term is
for eurozone countries to show budget discipline and concede
sovereignty to achieve greater fiscal integration.
Monti underscored that "more flexibility" had to be given
to eurozone countries that are trying to put their economic
houses in order for Italy's current policy of rigour and tough
economic reforms to "have a future".
He added that he had told Merkel he was very worried about
"the growing resentment in the Italian parliament against
Europe, against the euro and against the Germans".
Last week Monti said next year's general elections in Italy
could produce a Euro-skeptic government if the country's
borrowing costs remained as high as they are at the moment.
Monti pointed out that Paris and Berlin are not without
fault for the current crisis as France and Germany were the
first countries to break the EU's Stability and Growth Pact in
He also stressed that so far Italy had not had any aid from
Germany or the EU.
On the contrary, he said, the crisis has pushed Italy's
borrowing costs up and in doing so helped lower the interest
rates on German bonds.
He concluded that Italy wanted the "moral support, not
financial" of its EU partners.

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