Crying Wulff?

by Andrew Stuttaford

German president Christian Wulff is not a happy man. The Daily Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has the details: 

Mr Wulff said the ECB had gone “way beyond the bounds of their mandate” by purchasing €110bn (£96.6bn) of bonds, echoing widespread concerns in Germany that ECB intervention in the Italian and Spanish bond markets this month mark a dangerous escalation…The blistering attack follows equally harsh words by the Bundesbank in its monthly report. The bank slammed the ECB’s bond purchases and also warned that the EU’s broader bail-out machinery violates EU treaties and lacks “democratic legitimacy”.


The combined attacks come just two weeks before the German constitutional court rules on the legality of the various bailout policies. The verdict is expected on September 7. The tone of language from two of Germany’s most respected institutions suggests that both markets and Europe’s political establishment have been complacent in assuming that the court would rubberstamp the EU summit deals in Brussels….Mr Wulff said Germany’s public debt has reached 83pc of GDP and asked who will “rescue the rescuers?” as the dominoes keep falling. “We Germans mustn’t allow an inflated sense of the strength of the rescuers to take hold,” he said.

“Solidarity is the core of the European Idea, but it is a misunderstanding to measure solidarity in terms of willingness to act as guarantor or to incur shared debts. With whom would you be willing to take out a joint loan, or stand as guarantor? For your own children? Hopefully yes. For more distant relations it gets a bit more difficult,” he said.

“More distant relations”: A telling phrase, that. As Europe’s last serving Thatcherite, Czech president Vaclav Klaus, patiently explained to a jeering EU parliament a few years back, “there is no European demos — and no European nation.”

 No there is not.

And that’s what Wulff is really saying. 

 Tick tock.

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