The markets say they want them. Most EU countries say they are a good idea and a way of firming up the eurozone. Now the European Commission is nearly ready to announce its plans for a eurobond, backed by all EU economies, both weak and strong, that could reduce borrowing costs for stricken Greece and other shaky member states.
“This is a fight for the economic and political future of Europe. This is a fight for what Europe represents in the world. This is a fight for European integration itself,” said Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.
The problem is Europe’s strongest economy, Germany, is dead against the eurobond idea, as the economy minister has again underlined.
“Mister Barroso does not speak for the German government. I want to point out that we just had a verdict in the German Supreme Court which made it clear limitless German liability is not possible without the approval of the German parliament. In my view that eliminates eurobonds for Germany,” said Phillipe Roesler.
One European Commissioner has had the wind taken out of his sails after suggesting lowering to half-mast in Brussels all the flags of EU members that are too heavily in debt. “Totally ridiculous” was one of the more polite criticisms.