Van Rompuy tipped to chair new ’economic government’
2011-08-18 0:00


Twice-yearly meetings of the leaders of the 17 single currency states are to become the "cornerstone" of the new economic government of the eurozone, the leaders of France and Germany have said.

In a five-page letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy following their meeting on Tuesday (16 August) in Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel say the summits "will take place twice a year and, if necessary, extraordinary meetings will be called."

Herman Van Rompuy (left) pictured with French president Nicolas Sarkozy (

The gatherings should be used to make sure the euro’s Stability Pact is being adhered to, "discuss any difficulties encountered by certain member states and take the necessary decisions to prevent crises."

The formalisation of the top-level meetings - initially opposed by Berlin - is likely to reignite debate about the merits of deepening the political gap between those sharing the euro and the 10 member states outside the eurozone.

It may also raise questions about the fragile balance of power between the European Commission and member states when it comes to overseeing economic governance, normally a prerogative of Brussels.

More of President Van Rompuy?
Van Rompuy, the former Belgian premier currently in charge of the regular meetings of all 27 leaders, is also put forward as a candidate to be the first elected "president" of the economic government on a two and a half year mandate.

"We have expressed the wish that you could assume this post," the French and German leaders wrote.

The letter, which has been criticised for putting forward long term proposals rather than tackling the eurozone debt crisis with immediate solutions, underlines that the euro is the "foundation of our economic success and the symbol of the political unification of our continent."

Among its concrete points, the letter calls on eurozone countries to ratify "by the end of the month of September" rules that would give new bond-buying powers to the euro area’s bailout fund.

The timetable, already questioned by leading German politicians, is being pushed by the European Central Bank, which stepped into the breach last week with €22 billion to buy Italian and Spanish bonds in a bid to drive down borrowing costs.

Berlin and Paris also recommend that in future countries that do not take steps to correct their excessive deficits should have funds from the EU’s structural and cohesion funds suspended.

Reactions mixed
While Germany and France presented a united front and said it is their “historic mission” to protect the euro, reactions to their emergency meeting have been mixed.

Many have expressed disappointment that there was no pledge to create a eurobond - a move to mutualise the eurozone’s debt that would lower the borrowing cost for struggling euro countries but which Germany fears will lead to a rise in the price of its own government debt.

"The two leaders have finally woken up to some good ideas, such as a tax on financial transactions. But they have ignored solutions that offer real hope, such as the introduction of eurobonds," said Martin Schulz, leader of the socialists in the European Parliament.

He condemned the idea of holding just two meetings of eurozone leaders a year as "wholly inadequate".

Guy Verhofstadt, head of the liberals in the parliament, said it was "too little too late." He added: "It is a quantum step towards a federal union that is needed if the euro is to be saved. [Tuesday’s] announcements are sadly well short of the mark."

Read the full article at:

Related Articles
Van Rompuy: Europeans too depressed to be innovative (resign and make them happy, Herman ;P )
Nigel Farage: Van Rompuy Cozied with Gaddafi in December
Herman Van Rompuy announces a new "reverse majority rule" to get around the national veto
EU President Herman Van Rompuy called Clown by Sister Christine
Herman Van Rompuy: today the EU, tomorrow the world!
Herman Van Rompuy Named EU President
Nigel Farage: "Bombings, bailouts - what on earth are we doing?"
Nigel Farage: "Just who the hell do you think you are?" (Video)
Nigel Farage : EU Must Die (Video)

Latest News from our Front Page

Austrian Villagers to Refugees: Please Don't Fear Krampus
2015-12-02 6:30
The integration of Syrian and Iraqi refugees is facing a terrifying challenge in rural Austria this holiday season. Officials in the village of Virgen worried about how new arrivals from the Middle East would react to the local tradition of meeting so-called "Christmas Devils" who pretend to abduct kids. "In the first week of December, the good, gift-bringing St. Nicholas wanders through ...
Feminist blogger uses her vaginal yeast to make sourdough bread
2015-12-01 22:52
It's a tale that might ensure you never look the same way at a humble loaf again. When a feminist blogger found herself suffering from a vaginal yeast infection, she made the unusual decision to use the unwanted bodily fluid as an ingredient for making bread. Zoe Stavri, who writes under the title Another Angry Woman, has documented the details of her ...
Apple could be working on virtual reality projector, patents show
2015-12-01 22:40
The company has been granted a patent for an ‘adaptive projector’, which can project images onto surfaces Apple could be working on a new augmented reality projector, which would allow it to make computers without even adding a screen. The company has been granted a patent for an “adaptive” projector, reports Patently Apple. The patents seem to refer to a tool ...
83-year-old Romanian Jewess crowned "Miss Holocaust Survivor" in Israel
2015-12-01 22:23
83-year-old Romanian born Rita Berkowitz wins the one-of-a-kind charity beauty pageant Romania-born woman who immigrated to Israel won the third annual Miss Holocaust Survivors Beauty Pageant in Haifa. Rita Berkowitz, 83, was chosen among the 16 European natives who participated in the contest on Tuesday. She came to Israel in 1951. Hairdressers and makeup artists primped and pampered the contestants before they took ...
North Vancouver schools get first gender-neutral washroom
2015-12-01 21:52
In a first for North Vancouver schools, Seycove secondary has opened a gender-neutral washroom. The move is a step in the right direction and recognition that not every student feels welcome in the binary male- or female-designated washrooms, according to Brian Wilson, president of Seycove’s Queer Straight Alliance Club, which lobbied the school administration for the washroom. High school is already a ...
More News »