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Germany-first euro protection measures catch partners reeling

brussels bureau

Germany-first euro protection measures catch partners reeling


Germany ‘s act-alone ban on a raft of financial market transactions was broadly seen as undermining efforts to improve coordination and political unity across the European Union.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday: “I’ll boil it down: The euro, the foundation for growth and prosperity, along with the common market, is in danger.”

This analyst, however, cites other examples of similar unilateral actions:

Karel Lannoo, with the Centre for European Policy Studies, said: “When there was the financial crisis in september-october after Lehman (Brothers), several member states enacted their own short selling mesures without consulting the others.
And what we see now is that apprently they still haven’t come to a more european wide coordination. Probably they felt they had to act very quickly but it also indicates that is a very little of a european reflex in many of these national capitals, and its certainly not only Germany because also the UK has enacted laws which are applicable to european banks without consulting its european counterparts.”

After Germany’s announcement on Wednesday, the European Commission said it would have been preferable if Berlin had coordinated with all its EU partners first.

Germany did not tell the EU finance ministers at a meeting on Tuesday what it was going to do.

The euro zone’s second-largest economy after Germany, France, was stunned.

It said: “At least [Germany should] seek the advice of the other members,” and that it was not considering similar measures.

Another Ecofin meeting this Friday will look for ways around euro zone political faultlines.

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