Germany Forges Ahead on Reforming the Euro
Berlin means business. In addition to pushing for increased regulation of hedge funds and of the financial markets, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has drafted a list of proposals to revamp the European common currency. From suspending voting rights to national bankruptcy proceedings, the plan is far-reaching.
The offensive now seems to have started in earnest. On Tuesday, European Union finance ministers announced efforts to both rein in hedge funds operating in Europe and to introduce a tax on financial transactions. Overnight, the German financial services regulator BaFin slapped a ban on certain types of short selling.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has also been working with her finance minister and economics minister on far-reaching changes to the treaty underpinning Europe's common currency, the euro.
According to a draft paper respected German business daily Handelsblatt reported it had obtained on Wednesday, Merkel's government would like to see increased monitoring of member states' annual budget proposals, the introduction of stiff sanctions for those in violation of euro-zone debt rules and the suspension of voting rights in the European Council. Furthermore, Germany wants to establish bankruptcy proceedings for insolvent euro-zone countries.
"A crisis like that in Greece cannot be allowed to be repeated in the currency union," the paper concludes, according to the Handelsblatt. more