Merkel endangering EU with treaty change call: Luxembourg

24th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's appeal to change the EU treaties as a response to the eurozone debt crisis threatens to jeopardise the whole bloc, Luxembourg's foreign minister said on Thursday.

In an open letter to Merkel published in German business daily Handelsblatt, Jean Asselborn said: "If you, dear chancellor, do get your wish ... please do not forget the risk that the EU will implode."

Asselborn said it was "Utopian" to think that treaty changes could be "limited", as Merkel wants.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has already announced he would use any treaty change to "repatriate" powers from Brussels to London.

Added to this was the fear of referendums if the treaties were changed, Asselborn said.

"Do I need to remind you that Spain and Luxembourg were the only countries in 2005 to vote 'yes' to the EU's constitutional treaty?" he asked Merkel.

"The result of a referendum always depends on the message. If this message were to focus primarily on austerity and budget surveillance, then the chances of success are very small," added the minister.

Merkel has argued the best way out of the crippling eurozone is a slight tweak to the EU treaties to hand Brussels more powers to inspect member states' budgets and punish them if they continue to break the rules.

Others, including France and the European Commission want to pool the debt of eurozone countries and give the European Central Bank greater powers to intervene in the bond markets.

Merkel is holding a crunch meeting with the leaders of France and Italy later Thursday to discuss the crisis.

© 2011 AFP

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