“The patient’s alive, the doctor’s dead” say German papers, bemoaning ECB inaction

Coverage in the German weekend press has reflected the stark division of opinion in Europe’s largest economy to Europe’s Central Bank engaging in wholesale buying of peripheral nations’ debt.

The ECB already spent €190bn doing so, but has capped further buying to €20bn a week, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

At the end of a week in which the Dax fell 4% and the EuroStoxx 50 by 3.5%, various papers including FAZ suggested the outcome of the eurozone’s coming Day of Judgement (Juengste Gericht) now depends on the central bank’s action.
Handelsblatt quoted a view of the eurozone and ECB, that “the patient is still alive, but the doctor is dead”.

In an article entitled ‘Europäische Zentralbank: Der letzte Gläubige’ [The ECB – the last creditor], the FAZ quoted Spain’s Jose Zapatero: “What is needed is for a European central bank to be true to its name, and defend the common currency”.

Germany’s newspapers broadly agreed the bail-out fund EFSF, even enlarged to beyond €1trn, would be incapable of doing so if the bloc’s larger members needed aid.

Die Welt said bluntly the EFSF simply “does not work anymore”, then suggested there is great anger in Brussels due to the failure of EFSF head Klaus Regling to raise more money for it on his recent global roadshow.

“The EFSF should have been built into the ‘wonder-weapon’, with which Europe could successfully tackle the debt crisis. But in the interim, the thinking in Berlin has become that it was a waste that one could almost ruin this good idea by poor preparation [for the roadshow].”

But the newspaper then adds: “Not only the EFSF gearing fell through with investors – the eurozone in total seems to have lost its trust.”

In a hint of worse to come, FAZ said: “The lands in crisis are now begging the ECB for money. If it goes soft, the next crisis is predetermined.”

 

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