Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt earned a standing ovation at the start of the Social Democratic Party’s annual convention. It came after he was scathing about Berlin’s response to the euro crisis.
The now frail 92-year-old said, “treaty change to enforce EU budgetary regulation would take too long,” and he gave this warning:
“If we fail to solve the crisis, the importance of Europe will continue to decrease and the world will become a bipolar world between Washington and Beijing.”
He also castigated German demands for a leadership role in Europe which would only alienate its neighbours.
His remarks came ahead of today’s crisis talks between France and Germany aimed at ironing out remaining differences over closer fiscal integration.