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Merkel meltdown: Why German chancellor ‘caused euro crisis’ exposed by George Soros

In recent weeks, the EU has been accused of being slow and ineffective during the most serious crisis in generations. Member states have not only engaged in a row to secure medical supplies, but have also made little progress regarding the EU’s contribution to the economic and financial costs of the pandemic crisis. The main dispute concerns whether the EU should issue mutualised “coronabonds” to finance healthcare spending and other crisis-related expenditure in the hardest-hit countries.

Coronabonds are joint debt issued to member states of the EU.

The funds would be common and would come from the European Investment Bank.

This would be mutualised debt, taken collectively by all EU member states.

Italy has consistently argued for more help from its European partners, as the current crisis was impossible to predict.

Germany and the Netherlands, on the other hand, are opposed to the idea as they see it as potentially putting their taxpayers on the hook for the debt of other countries.

As the crisis deepens, unearthed reports suggest Mrs Merkel’s stubbornness proved to be incredibly deleterious nine years ago.

According to Hungarian-born currency speculator George Soros, it was the German Chancellor’s decision to block a joint EU guarantee that explained why the euro crisis turned out to be so catastrophic.

At the height of the European debt crisis in 2011, several eurozone member states – including Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus – were unable to repay or refinance their government debt.

Mr Soros claimed that Mrs Merkel’s insistence that there should be no joint EU guarantee and that each country would have to take care of its own institutions was “the root cause” of the eurozone crisis.

In an op-ed for the Financial Times in 2011, Mr Soros wrote: “Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, insisted there should be no joint EU guarantee: each country would have to take care of its own institutions.

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“That was the root cause of today’s euro crisis.

“The financial crisis forced sovereign states to substitute their own credit for the credit that had collapsed and, in Europe, each state had to do so on its own, calling into question the credit-worthiness of European government bonds.”

Mr Soros also suggested that Mrs Merkel might have not seen how it would be disastrous for the eurozone as a whole, because Germany is her homeland.

He explained: “As the largest creditor, Germany could dictate punitive terms of assistance, which pushed debtors towards insolvency.

“Meanwhile, Germany benefited from the euro crisis, which depressed the exchange rate and boosted its competitiveness further.”

The Hungarian-born currency speculator, now a US citizen, became known as the “man who broke the Bank of England” after he bet against the pound in 1992, forcing Britain out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

Germany, a leading nation in the Greek bailouts, did indeed earn huge sums in interest payments since the financial crisis.

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In 2010, eurozone countries bought €210billion (£186billion) of government paper, including Greek bonds, in order to provide greater liquidity to the EU’s banks as the Greek debt crisis unfolded.

According to figures obtained from Mrs Merkel’s government by Germany’s Green Party in 2018, Germany received €2.9billion (£2.5billion) in interest payments on Greek bonds that were bought through a now-defunct bond-buying programme.

Germany also received a total of €400million (£341million) on a loan from the KfW Development Bank.

The original agreement between Berlin and Athens was for any interest earned on the bonds to be paid back to Greece when it fulfilled its reform obligations.

However, Germany repaid €527million (£449million) of interest payments to Athens in 2013 and €387million (£330million) in 2014.

After Greece’s second bailout programme was agreed in 2015, those repayments stopped, and Berlin accumulated the ongoing interest.

Therefore, Germany is reportedly €2.5billion (£2.1billion) in profit, plus interest of €400million (£341million) on a loan from the KfW development bank.

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