Germany and France, countries with Europe’s two largest economies, are finding themselves at odds over the debt crisis. France is emerging as the nation willing to take the most drastic steps, while Germany is being cast as the more cautious, The Washington Post
France is calling for the European Central Bank to abandon its conservative ways long championed by Germany. The ECB is the central bank for the 17 nations that share the euro.
“The ECB’s role is to ensure the stability of the euro but also the financial stability of Europe,” French Budget Minister Valerie Pecresse said. “We trust that the ECB will take the necessary measures to ensure financial stability in Europe.”
However, German officials are pushing for a narrow role for the bank. “The ECB doesn’t have the possibility of solving these problems,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “We still don’t have an adequate answer about the future of the euro zone.”
Germans are not willing to be held responsible for the debts of others and Economics Minister Philipp Roesler went on television to refute rumors that Germany’s gold reserves might be tapped to solve the crisis.
However, Zsolt Darvas, a research fellow at an economic think tank, told the Post, “The Germans are against a more aggressive ECB, but if Italy gets into real trouble, their other options become extremely limited.”
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