Germany’s reproach to other European Union member countries to stop “tossing money around” promises to make for a tense meeting in Brussels today.
The aim of the two day meeting is a joint economic rescue package for the bloc. The total price tag being bandied around to stave off recession is some 200 billion euros. But Germany has already voiced its reluctance to contribute more than its usual EU dues.
It also does not want to copy Britain’s Value Added Tax reduction.
The German Finance Minister has personally attacked Gordon Brown for abandoning fiscal prudence and saddling a generation with debt. He hinted that decisions were being taken in haste which would only be regretted later.
Angela Merkel has apparently been given the nickname “Madame Non” for refusing President Nicolas Sarkozy’s entreaties for her to do more.
Sarkozy has another agenda for this meeting, too. The French presidency has put forward a plan to address Irish concerns over the stymied Lisbon Treaty. Dublin has given its clearest indication yet that it will consider a second referendum.