Germany's Merkel Stays Firm Against Euro Bonds, Debt Mutualization
BERLIN--German Chancellor Angela Merkel told supporters one day ahead of Sunday's election she will stay firm against
debt restructuring and mutualization of European debt, pledging to continue a policy of offering financial support to
those euro-zone countries that make efforts to get their budget problems under control.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters at her final campaign rally in Berlin, the chancellor stressed competitiveness will
keep Europe strong in the world and not just solidarity between financially stronger and weaker European countries.
"That's why we think a mutualization of debt or sovereign bonds is the wrong approach. The responsibility is with the
individual states," Ms. Merkel told supporters. "With us Christian Democrats, and people will decide about this [Sunday]
, there won't be any joint debt repayment funds and no euro bonds."
Ms. Merkel's center-right coalition is in a neck-and-neck race with the center-left opposition parties a day ahead of
the national election. The center-left parties have called for the introduction of common euro-zone bonds--debt issued
for the whole currency and implicitly guaranteed by countries such as Germany--and debt repayment funds.
A possible debt restructuring for Greece has been discussed in Europe. But Greece is an unpopular issue in Germany,
the biggest contributor to euro-zone bailouts. Athens took center stage in the run-up to Germany's elections when
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble last month said Greece would need a third bailout.
So far, Athens has received a combined EUR246 billion in international aid loans. These aid packages are administered
by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank, known jointly as the troika. The
euro zone's loan program is set to end mid-2014, while the IMF's planned lending runs through to 2016.
Write to Andrea Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org
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