Germany's 'self-interest' could ruin Eurozone, warns Soros

Jun 26, 2012

Angela Merkel's 'can't do' attitude could prove fatal says George Soros, who wants EU debt reduction fund


GEORGE SOROS has criticised Germany's "narrow self interest" and warned that the country will be to blame if it stands in the way of plans to save the Euro.

The billionaire hedge fund manager said that Germany was "mired with a 'can't do' mode", noting that Chancellor Angela Merkel had resisted proposals to provide Italy and Spain with debt relief.

Writing in the the Financial Times ahead of the EU's two-day summit opening in Brussels on Thursday, Soros warned that keeping "periphery countries" in a "permanently subordinated position" could prove harmful.
"It will leave the rest of the Eurozone without a strong enough firewall to protect it against the possibility of a Greek exit," he wrote. "Even if a fatal accident can be avoided, the division between creditor and debtor countries will be reinforced and the 'periphery' countries will have no chance to regain competitiveness because the playing field is tilted against them.

"This may serve Germany's narrow self-interest but it will create a very different Europe from the open society that fired people's imaginations."

The billionaire investor proposes that to tackle the Eurozone crisis the European Union should establish a "debt reduction fund" to store the debt of hard-up countries like Italy and Spain. In return these countries would take on a framework of reforms.

The fund would issue bonds which all the member states would guarantee and this would "pass on the benefit of cheap financing to the countries concerned".

Soros concluded: "If the rest of Europe is united behind this proposal and the Bundestag rejects it Germany must take full responsibility for the financial and political consequences."

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