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New poll finds 65% of Germans believe they would be better off without the euro; Twenty years later, 64% of French would vote against the Maastricht Treaty

17 Sep 2012

Under the front-page headline “Germans no longer believe in Europe”, Die Welt reports that support for the EU and the euro has hit an all-time low in Germany. According to a TNS Emnid poll carried out in July in Germany, France and Poland on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation, 49% of Germans said that they personally would be better off without the EU compared with 32% who said they would be worse off. 34% of French and 28% of Poles said they would be better off without the EU. The poll also found that 65% of Germans believed they would be better off had the euro not been introduced compared with 36% of French. Meanwhile, 76% of Poles opposed their country joining the single currency with only 18% in favour.

According to a new IFOP poll published on Le Figaro’s front page, 64% of French would today vote against ratifying the Maastricht Treaty which introduced the euro in 1992, although 65% of respondents also rejected a return to the French franc. 60% of respondents said they are in favour of “less European integration” of economic and budgetary policies.
Welt Welt: Stürmer Les Echos Le Figaro Le Figaro: Robin Le Figaro: Fillon Le Figaro: Barroso

Liam Fox: EU renegotiation should result in “a common market without the political interference”;
Sir John Major: Crisis is an opportunity for Britain to ‘strike new bargain’ with the EU
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, former Defence Secretary Liam Fox argued for “Britain to renegotiate a new relationship with the European Union – one based on an economic partnership involving a customs union and a single market in goods and services. This would be, in effect, a common market without the political interference.” The headline of the article cited Open Europe’s estimate that the total cost of new EU regulations on the UK economy in the decade up to 2010 was £124bn. Open Europe’s recent reports on the Common Agricultural Policy and Regional Policy were also cited.

Meanwhile, in Saturday’s Telegraph, Sir John Major argued that, “The changes Germany is leading are so profound that they cannot be smuggled through in a clandestine way. Every nation in the EU will be affected…If an inner core can radically alter its relationship with the EU as a whole, then non-core members may feel free to do the same. I believe they should. There is a bargain to be struck. Our relationship with Europe has been a running sore in British politics for more than half a century. The opportunity is coming to settle on one that is more amenable to our interests and our instincts.”
Mail on Sunday: Fox Sun on Sunday: Young Saturday’s Telegraph: Major Open Europe research: EU Regulation Open Europe research: EU Regional Policy Open Europe research: CAP reform

The Sun on Sunday reported that candidates have been lined up to stand in the European elections for the “We Demand A Referendum Party” unless David Cameron offers a straight in-or-out vote on the UK’s EU membership. A third of adults said they would vote for it in the 2014 Euro elections, according to a YouGov poll.
Sun on Sunday

Merkel and Schäuble seemingly at odds over Weidmann’s criticism of ECB bond-buying
In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble criticised Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann for publicly criticising the ECB’s new bond-buying programme, arguing that “I'm not sure that making this debate semi-public helps to build confidence in the [ECB]”. However, DPA cites Angela Merkel as saying this morning that Weidmann’s interventions were “understandable and always welcome”, adding that the limits of the ECB’s actions were clearly marked out.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung: Schäuble La Tribune Irish Times

Eurozone banking union plans divide EU states;
Anders Borg: Proposed timetable is “undesirable and not acceptable”
Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg has added his voice to German concerns over the speed of eurozone banking union saying: “It’s undesirable and not acceptable to have the ambition to take these decisions by year end.” This follows German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble telling a news conference on Saturday that meeting that deadline to have a single eurozone banking supervisor in place by January 2013; “will not be possible.” Sweden’s concerns are reportedly also shared by the Netherlands, Finland and Poland.

However, fears that a delay in banking union implementation will make the direct recapitalisation of Spanish banks from the ESM more difficult has led to concerns in other eurozone states: Spain’s Economy Minister, Luis de Guindos, is quoted as telling reporters on Saturday. “We need to stick to the timetable,” with France, Italy and Belgium also reported as giving support.

The WSJ reports that Jörg Asmussen, a member of the ECB's executive board said Friday; "you need all three elements [common supervision, a resolution regime and better-coordinated deposit-insurance funds] If the latter two are missing, supervision cannot be effectively exercised."
DI YLE YLE2 CityAM IHT WSJ EUobserver Expansión Cinco Días Irish Times FT Editorial CityAM: Boleat Handelsblatt Handelsblatt 2 WSJ Brussels Beat

Greece set to get more time to implement reform programme
Following Friday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers there were signs that Greece may be given more time to achieve its reform programme with Christine Lagarde, Head of the IMF, even stating that such a move must be considered “as an option”. Kathimerini reports that opposition Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has hit out at such plans, saying that they will simply give Greece “more rope to hang ourselves with”. Handelsblatt reports that Greece may be given more time since the EU/IMF/ECB troika now accept that its debt to GDP target of 120% in 2020 is unattainable.
Irish Independent FT Weekend Saturday’s Telegraph Saturday’s Guardian  Washington Post: Samaras Kathimerini Kathimerini 2 La Tribune Handelsblatt Les Echos Euractiv Le Monde

Berlusconi: Fiscal treaty rules “hinder growth”;
Growing number of Italians support Mario Monti, but support for his government shrinks
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in an interview that the budgetary rules laid down in the fiscal treaty “hinder growth”. He also said, “An 80% majority is required to activate the [ESM] therefore it will be hard to make it work.” Separately, according to a new poll published by La Repubblica, support for Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti increased to 52% from 49% in July. However, only 37% of Italians currently trust Monti’s technocratic cabinet – down from 54% in December.
Bloomberg Repubblica Il Sole 24 Ore Repubblica Repubblica: Tables Corriere della Sera

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Spain and Portugal over the weekend, in protest against the austerity measures imposed by the respective governments. Separately, according to a new poll published by Spanish radio Cadena SER, almost 49% of Spaniards would be in favour of reducing the level of autonomy of Spanish regions.
FT Stern Reuters Cadena SER El Economista WSJ Euractiv Telegraph El País El País 2 El Mundo

De Standaard reports that Belgium faces an EU fine for not meeting its deficit targets.

Saturday’s Telegraph noted that UK ministers are seeking to renegotiate the EU’s Working Time Directive and the junior doctors' NHS contract in a drive to improve out-of-hours care for hospital patients.
Saturday’s Telegraph Open Europe research: EU Social & Employment Law

The Guardian reports that the UK Government is trying to oppose MEPs seeking to ban high-frequency trading.
Guardian Open Europe research: EU Financial Regulation

Der Leipziger Volkszeitung reports that the SPD is to officially name its candidate to take on Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year’s German federal elections at its party congress in early December. With party chairman Sigmar Gabriel reportedly no longer in the running, the choice is between parliamentary leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück.

Nine EU countries including the UK have signed a letter to the European Commission against an EU-wide quota on participation of women on the boards of listed companies, arguing that the issue is already being dealt with by national governments.
FT Le Figaro

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