Germany mulls tighter EU ties

Aug. 19, 2012 at 10:34 AM
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BERLIN, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Critics of a proposal to shift more of Germany's executive authority to the European Union say it amounts to punting the continent's ongoing financial crisis.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble have come out in favor of tightening Germany's relationship with Brussels, a move that proponents would send a positive signal that Berlin is committed to making the euro work over the long haul.

But doubters see it as more surrender than definitive move. "It is perhaps a sign of helplessness," Christian Pestalozza, a former professor at Berlin's Free University told The New York Times. "Nobody really knows what to do anymore, so they are asking themselves, 'Who could make a decision?'"

Major decisions may be required to break Europe out of its lingering series of financial crises. The EU has been called on to bail out various member nations, which has irked many Germans who see their nation as having to shoulder much of the burden.

The idea of speeding up the integration of Germany and the rest of the EU would conceivably streamline the process of getting various economies back on track; however it would amount to changing the German constitution.

The Times said the integration idea was still more an idea than a concrete proposal but was gaining traction within German political circles, although sentiment is that the public should vote on any major initiatives.

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